What is the longest word? For many of us English speakers, we learned in school that it was antidisestablishmentarianism. At 28 letters, the word, which is used to describe a 19th-century British political movement, is certainly a mouthful. And it takes the cake as the longest non-medical, non-coined, nontechnical English word. However, if we want to determine the actual longest world in English, we have to delve a little deeper. And while we’re at it, we’ll take a look at some of the longest words in other languages as well.
What Is the Longest Word – English
Methionylthreonylthreonyglut… yada, yada, yada… isoleucine (189,819 letters)
That’s right, at 189,819 letters, this chemical name for the human protein titin would take 3 and a half hours to pronounce! It turns out, there is no limit to how long chemical names can be.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters)
While there are still a few longer words, this one is the longest that you will find in most dictionaries. It refers to a lung disease that forms when you inhale silica or quartz dust.
Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (30 letters)
This word describes a thyroid disorder. It is the longest non-coined word to appear in a major dictionary.
Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)
An estimation of the value of something that currently holds none, this word is the longest non-technical English word.
Longest Words in Other Languages
French: Anticonstitutionnellement (25 letters)
At only 25 letters, this word for anticonstitutionality seems small compared to others in this list.
Tagalog: Pinakanakapagpapabagabag-damdamin (32 letters)
This Tagalog word is used to describe the most emotionally disturbing or deeply upsetting thing available.
Welsh: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (51 letters)
The name of a railway station, this word is a bit of cheat, as it was coined to gain fame as the longest railway name.
Spanish: Pentakismyriahexakisquilioletracosiohexacontapentágono (54 letters)
A math term used to describe a 56,645 sided polygon. When would anyone ever need to use that?
Finnish: Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas (61 letters)
This Finnish word describes an airplane engine mechanic who is still a student under officer. Seems like there should be an easier way to say that.
Icelandic: Vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúraútidyralyklakippuhringur (64 letters)
This word is a ring found on key chains that unlocks the main door of a tool shed used by road workers. Yup, definitely needed a word for that.
German: Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters)
This is a subordinate officials from the head office management of a steamboat called Danube’s electrical services.
Maori: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikomaungahoronukupokaiwhen-uakitanatahu (85 letters)
A hill in New Zealand, this is the longest name found in Maori language.
Afrikaans: Tweedehandsemotorverkoopsmannevakbondstakingsvergaderingsameroeperstoespraakskry-werspersverklaringuitreikingsmediakonferensieaankondiging (136 letters)
Used to describe a media conference issuable through an announcement at a press release that is in regards to the convener’s speech at a secondhand car dealerships strike meeting. Yeah, we’re confused too.
Polish: Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatake-chymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphet-raganopterygon (183 letters)
The longest word to ever appear in the literature, it is the name of a dish made up of fish, flesh, fowl, and sauces.
While all these words certainly do exist, you’d be forgiven for never using them. Most were created solely for the fact of being long, and the rest or so cumbersome to use that nobody does. It is for this reason that many words in many languages go unnoticed and unused.