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[lengk-thee, leng-, len-] /ˈlɛŋk θi, ˈlɛŋ-, ˈlɛn-/
adjective, lengthier, lengthiest.
having or being of great length; very long:
a lengthy journey.
tediously verbose; very long; too long:
a lengthy speech.
Origin of lengthy
1680-90, Americanism; length + -y1
Related forms
lengthily, adverb
lengthiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lengthy
  • And his meticulousness extended to lengthy and vigilant postoperative care.
  • The high cost of research ships and the sheer size of the sea make marine data collection a lengthy procedure.
  • Raising a potential guide dog is a serious and lengthy proposition.
  • He began writing captions, sometimes quite lengthy, on each print.
  • As the arguments in support of this are too lengthy for discussion in this place, only a general statement may be made.
  • The result was his lengthy treatise on predestination which fills one volume of the six that comprise his published works.
  • These monarchs are born to fly, and know because of the changing weather that they must prepare for their lengthy journey.
  • While they may be too sick for lengthy visits, some are so happy to see him that it brings them to tears.
  • Training dogs for such missions is a lengthy, difficult, and costly process.
  • The wild river that along its lengthy journey gives life to so much and so many will be tamed forever.
British Dictionary definitions for lengthy


/ˈlɛŋkθɪ; ˈlɛŋθɪ/
adjective lengthier, lengthiest
of relatively great or tiresome extent or duration
Derived Forms
lengthily, adverb
lengthiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lengthy

1759, American English, from length + -y (2). Until c.1840 always characterized in British English as an Americanism.

This word has been very common among us, both in writing and in the language of conversation; but it has been so much ridiculed by Americans as well as Englishmen, that in writing it is now generally avoided. Mr. Webster has admitted it into his dictionary; but as need hardly be remarked it is not in any of the English ones. It is applied by us, as Mr. Webster justly observes, chiefly to writings or discourses. Thus we say, a lengthy pamphlet, a lengthy sermon, &c. The English would say, a long or (in the more familiar style) a longish sermon. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
Related: Lengthily; lengthiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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