Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

prolix

play
adjective pro·lix \prō-ˈliks, ˈprō-(ˌ)\

Simple Definition of prolix

  • : using too many words

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of prolix

  1. 1 :  unduly prolonged or drawn out :  too long

  2. 2 :  marked by or using an excess of words

prolixity

play \prō-ˈlik-sə-tē\ noun

prolixly

adverb

Examples of prolix in a sentence

  1. The speech was unnecessarily prolix.

  2. <a person known for habitually transforming brief anecdotes into prolix sagas that exhaust their listeners>



Did You Know?

There's no way to talk about prolix without being redundant, verbose, and wordy. That's because the word is a synonym of all of those long-winded terms. Of those words, prolix is the one most likely to suggest unreasonable and tedious dwelling on details. It derives from prolixus, a Latin term meaning "extended" or "copious." Prolixus originated from a combination of the prefix pro- (which means "forward") and the past participle of liquēre, a verb meaning "to be fluid." True to that history, something that is prolix flows on and on.

Origin and Etymology of prolix

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French prolix, from Latin prolixus extended, from pro- forward + liquēre to be fluid — more at liquid


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of prolix

wordy, verbose, prolix, diffuse mean using more words than necessary to express thought. wordy may also imply loquaciousness or garrulity <a wordy speech>. verbose suggests a resulting dullness, obscurity, or lack of incisiveness or precision <the verbose position papers>. prolix suggests unreasonable and tedious dwelling on details <habitually transformed brief anecdotes into prolix sagas>. diffuse stresses lack of compactness and pointedness of style <diffuse memoirs that are so many shaggy-dog stories>.

Learn More about prolix


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up prolix? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

prophetic or oracular

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine frenetic lazy melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ