Have you ever wondered what the longest word in the English language is? Most of us have probably found ourselves stumbling across such musings at some point in our life. Fortunately, here is a quick answer to this innocent problem: there are actually several words that might be considered as the longest English word. However, some of these words are long because they are scientific and technical; and one in particular was created solely for being the longest English word. So, now that we have this bit of information, lets take a look at what a few of these words are.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis supposedly describes a lung disease acquired by the inhalation of silica dust. However, the 45 character word is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as having been created solely to be the longest word in English and the lung condition that the word described is actually called silicosis.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, a 36 character word supposedly meaning a fear of long words, is not officially known as the longest word in the English language despite its great length. It might even have been put together after someone started wondering what the longest word is. After all, thinking about it is quite a daunting task, is it not?
Antidisestablishmentarianism is a 28 character political word dating as far back as the early 1800s. It is used to describe “opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England.” Many people consider this word to officially be the longest English word because it was created to have an actual meaning and not just for the sake of being the longest word.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a 34 character word famous for having been created for use in the popular children’s movie Mary Poppins and is not generally considered a real word.
Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism is a condition that looks like a condition called pseudohypoparathyroidism, but in fact, is not. At a length of 30 characters, it is the longest non-coined word to appear in any major English dictionary.
Honorificabilitudinitatibus is a 27 letter word that, in plural form, means being in the state of being capable to receive honors. The word just so happens to be the longest word ever used by Shakespeare, but its roots go back centuries before his time to at least the 1100s.