The Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary - Collins Dictionary Language Blog (2023)

This post was originally published on 4th April 2012 and updated on 21st July 2020.

What is the Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary?

The longest word listed in Collins English Dictionary* is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which is the full name of the chemical DDT. It has 31 letters.

In fact, most of the very long words in the dictionary are scientific terms: the second-longest word is electroencephalographically, which has 27 letters, and means ‘by means of an electroencephalograph’ (referring to a machine used to record brain activity). Only slightly shorter, with 24 letters each, are phosphatidylethanolamine (a chemical that occurs in nerve tissue and brain cells) and cholangiopancreatography (a medical technique for examining the bile ducts and pancreas).

The longest word not containing the letter ‘e’ is the 23-letter transubstantiationalist. This is also the longest non-scientific term, and refers to someone who believes in the Roman Catholic doctrine that bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ during the Eucharist.

(Video) Collins Dictionary announce their 2017 Word of the Year

The most consecutive consonants in a word is six. This occurs in a number of words, the most familiar being catchphrase, sightscreen, and watchstrap. The word euouae (a mnemonic used in medieval music) is the only word to contain six consecutive vowels, and unsurprisingly is the longest word with no consonants in it.

What is the Longest Word with no Vowels?

Not including plurals, there is only one seven-letter word which has none of the five vowels. That word is nymphly, which is a rare variation of ‘nymphlike’. However, two six-letter words, glycyl and rhythm, can have an ‘s’ added in the plural to make a seven-letter word without a vowel.

Of course, all of those words use the letter ‘y’ as a vowel. The longest words that contain no vowel and no ‘y’ are crwth (a Celtic stringed instrument), cwtch (a shed, cuddle, or hiding place), phpht (an expression of mild irritation), and grrrl (part of the phrase ‘riot girl’, which describes a subculture that mixes feminism and punk rock). The first two of these are borrowed from Welsh and treat the letter ‘w’ as a vowel, while the second two owe their unconventional spelling patterns to attempts to represent spoken grunts and growls.

Words Composed of Letters from the First or Second Half of the Alphabet

The longest word composed entirely of letters from the first half of the alphabet is the 12-letter fiddledeedee, which is a remark you might make if you think some is talking nonsense.

(Video) I Found my New Favorite Online English Dictionary!

The longest words composed entirely of letters from the second half of the alphabet are nonsupport (failure to provide support for one’s dependents) and zoosporous (a technical term used in biology), both of which have ten letters.

Words from QWERTY Keyboard Rows

Some common ten-letter words, including perpetuity, proprietor, repertoire, and typewriter can be typed using only the top row of a QWERTY keyboard. Until a few years ago, these were the longest words you could make without leaving the top row. However, the expansion of the dictionary to include more rare and unusual words has recently brought in an 11-letter word in rupturewort (a plant belonging to the pink family).

The eight-letter word Haggadah (the book setting out the procedure for the Jewish Passover feast) can be typed using only the middle row of a QWERTY keyboard. You can also add an ‘s’ to this to make a nine-letter word. But if you don’t want to include words spelt with a capital letter, you will have to settle for the seven-letter alfalfa, ashfall, or shahada.

There are no vowels on the bottom row of the QWERTY keyboard, so the longest word that can be made from the letters there is zzz (an informal word for sleep).

(Video) Collins Dictionary Training Video

Words with Vowels in Alphabetical Order

Two common English words, abstemious and facetious, all have the five vowels ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’, and ‘u’ occurring once each in their alphabetical order, and there are also three scientific terms in the dictionary that share this unusual property: arsenious, caesious, and parecious.

Words with ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’ in Alphabetical Order

The words oxygenize, deoxygenize, methoxybenzene, and oxyphenbutazone are the only ones in which the letters ‘x’, ‘y’, and ‘z’ occur once each in their alphabetical order. All four of these words come from chemistry and contain the letters ‘oxy’, referring to the element oxygen.

Words with Unusual Double Letters

The only words containing a double ‘j’ are hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca), the related words hajji and hajjah, and also Gujju (an informal word for a Gujarati person).

The only words containing a double ‘y’ are bayyan (an official declaration in Islam) and sayyid (an honorary title among Muslims). Both of these words are borrowed from Arabic and are relatively new to the dictionary.

(Video) Collins dictionaries: pioneers in dictionary publishing

The words antivaxxer (someone who is opposed to vaccination) and doxx (to publish personal information about someone on the internet) – both of which were added to the dictionary in 2017 – are the only words to contain a double ‘x’.

That leaves ‘q’ as the only letter that is never doubled in a word, although you do get two ‘q’s together in abbreviations such as qqv and seqq.

* These facts and figures relate only to Collins English Dictionary, Collins’ flagship dictionary of British and world English.

Updated from original article by Ian Brookes, writer and editor.

(Video) Lockdown named word of the year by Collins Dictionary

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.


What word is longer than pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis? ›

Longest word in English
5 more rows

What is the longest word in the English dictionary? ›

In that case, what's the longest word in the English language dictionary? It's pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

What is the 52 letter word? ›

Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic. This is the longest word in English which is composed of seven words. This 52-letter word was coined by Dr. Edward Strother to describe the spa waters in Bath, England.

What are the 5 longest words? ›

10 Longest Words in the English Language
  • Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters) ...
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters) ...
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (34 letters) ...
  • Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters) ...
  • Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)
Jun 28, 2019

Is the longest word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? ›

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is it real and the longest word in the dictionary? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a real word but is not the longest word in the dictionary. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest word in the dictionary.

What is the 3 longest word in the world? ›

14 of the Longest Words in English
  1. 1 Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (forty-five letters): ...
  2. 2 Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (thirty letters): ...
  3. 3 Floccinaucinihilipilification (twenty-nine letters): ...
  4. 4 Antidisestablishmentarianism (twenty-eight letters):

Is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious an actual word? ›

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a nonsensical word that is sometimes used to describe something as being great or extraordinary. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is used especially by children and fans of Disney movies to describe something as being really good.

What is the 189 819 letter word? ›

1. methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl… isoleucine. You'll notice there's an ellipsis here, and that's because this word, in total, is 189,819 letters long, and it's the chemical name for the largest known protein, titin.

What starts with P and ends with E? ›

Q: What starts with "P", ends with "E", and has millions of letters? A: The "Post Office"!

Which 3 letter word has 645 meanings? ›

So Far One three-letter word does much of the heavy lifting in the English language. The little word "run" — in its verb form alone — has 645 distinct meanings.

What is a 7 letter word with Z? ›

98 more rows

What is the longest P word in the world? ›

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a New Latin word made up of five parts. The combining form pneumono- means “lung.” The word ultramicroscopic refers to something so small that it can't be seen by normal microscopes.

What is the 8 longest word in English? ›

In this post, we will look at eight of the longest words in the English language.
  • Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. ...
  • Floccinaucinihilipilification. ...
  • Incomprehensibility. ...
  • Trichotillomania. ...
  • Xenotransplantation. ...
  • Tergiversation. ...
  • Uncopyrightable. ...
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Jan 31, 2020

What is the full word of Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl? ›

Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl… isoleucine is the chemical name for the protein of “titin” also known as “connectin.” The largest known protein that consists of 26, 926 amino acids is made up of 189, 819 letters and can take about three hours to pronounce.

What word has 3.5 hours pronounced? ›

A word of warning… the “word” takes about 3.5 hours to say. The word is 189,819 letters long. It's actually the name of a giant protein called Titin.

What word takes 3 hours to say Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis? ›

That's called: Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia and it's one of the longest words in the dictionary.

Is Honorificabilitudinitatibus the longest word? ›

At 27 letters, it is the second-longest word in the English language featuring only alternating consonants and vowels. The longest is Honorificicabilitudinitatibus, which has the same meaning.

What word has all 26 letters of the alphabet? ›

An English pangram is a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the English alphabet. The most well known English pangram is probably “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

What word has 183 letters in English? ›

The longest word in the English language, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, won primary school speller Jemimah Elise Sampson, the East Coast Radio's Last Kid Standing title, as seen in the video below published by the East Coast Radio.


1. Do Words Get Removed from a Dictionary When People Stop Using Them?
(Today I Found Out)
2. How to choose a dictionary in the Woodpecker app.
(Emma Segev)
3. Harper Collins adds new words to dictionary
(Al Jazeera English)
4. Choosing a Dictionary
(Springboard Speech and Language)
5. English Words of the Year 2022 Edition
(Eat Sleep Dream English)
6. Top 3 Free Online Dictionaries
(Fast Track ESL)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated: 01/25/2023

Views: 5259

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.