Word of the Day

Sunday, May 02, 2010

sesquipedalianism

\ses-kwi-PEED-l-iz-uhm\ , adjective;
1.
Given to using long words.
2.
(Of a word) containing many syllables.
Quotes:
Quoting those who insist on engaging in sesquipedalianism (using “large words when smaller ones will do,”) Cavett romps and stomps over his subjects in a veritable malign-fest of the linguistically misguided.
-- Susie Berta, Susie's Year of Words - 2008 (Blog), April 14, 2008
It is very true that when the experiment of dictating is first tried, the luxury of the ease it gives is apt to be so great, that it tends to looseness and verbosity of style; for there is no better check on sesquipedalianism than the necessity of writing down one's sesquipedalian words for one's self.
-- Christian Examiner, Volume 72
More unreal even than the sesquipedalianism that returned to him — not as a matter for mockery but as a medium for expression — in his lesser works and in his later days, was his moral purpose.
-- Benedict Kiely, Poor scholar: a study of the works and days of William Carleton, 1794-1869
Origin:
Sesquipedalianism appears in Horace's Ars Poetica, meaning "words a foot-and-a-half long," as an ironic criticism.
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Other Delivery Options:
Mobile app
iGoogle
Mac
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help