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[proh-liks, proh-liks] /proʊˈlɪks, ˈproʊ lɪks/
extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy.
(of a person) given to speaking or writing at great or tedious length.
Origin of prolix
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin prōlixus extended, long, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -lixus, akin to līquī to flow; see liquor
Related forms
[proh-lik-si-tee] /proʊˈlɪk sɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
prolixness, noun
prolixly, adverb
nonprolix, adjective
nonprolixly, adverb
nonprolixness, noun
nonprolixity, noun
overprolix, adjective
overprolixly, adverb
overprolixness, noun
overprolixity, noun
unprolix, adjective
1. prolonged, protracted. See wordy. 1, 2. verbose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prolix
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was prolix with his pen, not from affluence, but from paucity of ideas.

  • To those who do not, I have been prolix without being profitable.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • He is not prolix, his style is not involved, his dialogue is as rapid and keen as an assault at arms.

    Essays in Little Andrew Lang
  • I am afraid I have been prolix; but my dear Morris, bear that in mind.

    Glyn Severn's Schooldays George Manville Fenn
  • And the twain began to wrangle so that Joseph thought they would never end, so prolix was Philip in his explanations.

    The Brook Kerith George Moore
  • Though every musical element is telling, the movement is too prolix.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
  • Often they are prolix and difficult because of an unfamiliar vocabulary and a complicated sentence structure.

    Essays on the Greek Romances Elizabeth Hazelton Haight
  • He felt it would be prolix to explain that he was thinking of a directory, and not of stamps.

    Cynthia Leonard Merrick
  • It is an easy matter to skip the prolix passages and the unnecessary introductions.

    Modern English Books of Power George Hamlin Fitch
British Dictionary definitions for prolix


/ˈprəʊlɪks; prəʊˈlɪks/
(of a speech, book, etc) so long as to be boring; verbose
indulging in prolix speech or writing; long-winded
Derived Forms
prolixity, (rare) prolixness, noun
prolixly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prōlixus stretched out widely, from pro-1 + līquī to flow
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 prolix

early 15c., from Old French prolixe (13c.) and directly from Latin prolixus "extended," literally "poured out," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + base of liquere "to flow" (see liquid (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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