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sesquipedalian

[ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uh n, -deyl-yuh n] /ˌsɛs kwɪ pɪˈdeɪ li ən, -ˈdeɪl yən/
adjective, Also, sesquipedal
[ses-kwip-i-dl] /sɛsˈkwɪp ɪ dl/ (Show IPA)
1.
given to using long words.
2.
(of a word) containing many syllables.
noun
3.
a sesquipedalian word.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < Latin sēsquipedālis measuring a foot and a half (see sesqui-, pedal) + -an
Related forms
sesquipedality
[ses-kwi-pi-dal-i-tee] /ˌsɛs kwɪ pɪˈdæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
sesquipedalianism, sesquipedalism
[ses-kwip-i-dl-iz-uh m, ‐kwi-peed-l-iz-uh m] /sɛsˈkwɪp ɪ dlˌɪz əm, ‐kwɪˈpid lˌɪz əm/ (Show IPA),
noun
unsesquipedalian, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un sesquipedalian

sesquipedalian

/ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪlɪən/
adjective
1.
tending to use very long words
2.
(of words or expressions) long and ponderous; polysyllabic
noun
3.
a polysyllabic word
Derived Forms
sesquipedalianism, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sēsquipedālis of a foot and a half (coined by Horace in Ars Poetica), from sesqui- + pedālis of the foot, from pēs foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for un sesquipedalian

sesquipedalian

n.

1610s, "person or thing a foot and a half long," from Latin sesquipedalia "a foot-and-a-half long," from sesqui- "half as much again" (see sesqui-) + stem of pes "foot" (see foot (n.)). As an adjective 1650s.

Meaning "sesquipedalian word" (1830) is from Latin sesquipedalia verba "words a foot-and-a-half long," in Horace's "Ars Poetica" (97), nicely illustrating the thing he is criticizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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