long

1 of 6

adjective

longer ˈlȯŋ-gər How to pronounce long (audio)
 also  -ər
; longest ˈlȯŋ-gəst How to pronounce long (audio)
 also  -əst
1
a
: extending for a considerable distance
a long coastline
b
: having greater length than usual
a long corridor
c
: having greater height than usual : tall
d
: having a greater length than breadth : elongated
e
: having a greater length than desirable or necessary
the column is one line too long
f
: full-length
long pants
2
a
: having a specified length
six feet long
b
: forming the chief linear dimension
the long side of the room
3
a
: extending over a considerable time
a long friendship
b
: having a specified duration
two hours long
c
: prolonged beyond the usual time
a long look
d
: lasting too long : tedious
a long explanation
4
a
: containing many items in a series
a long list
b
: having a specified number of units
300 pages long
c
: consisting of a greater number or amount than usual : large
was married, and had a long familyA. T. Quiller-Couch
5
a
of a speech sound : having a relatively long duration
b
: being the member of a pair of similarly spelled vowel or vowel-containing sounds that is descended from a vowel long in duration
long a in fate
long i in sign
c of a syllable in prosody
(1)
: of relatively extended duration
(2)
: bearing a stress or accent
a long syllable
6
: having the capacity to reach, extend, or travel a considerable distance
a long left jab
tried to hit the long ball
7
: larger or longer than the standard
a long count by the referee
8
a
: extending far into the future
the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughtsH. W. Longfellow
b
: extending beyond what is known
a long guess
c
: payable after a considerable period
a long note
9
: possessing a high degree or a great deal of something specified : strong
long on common sense
10
a
: of an unusual degree of difference between the amounts wagered on each side
long odds
b
: of or relating to the larger amount wagered
take the long end of the bet
11
: subject to great odds
take a long chance for a large rewardW. P. Webb
12
: owning or accumulating securities or goods especially in anticipation of an advance in prices
they are now long on wheat
take a long position in steel
longness noun

long

2 of 6

adverb

1
: for or during a long time
long a popular hangout
2
: at or to a long distance : far
long-traveled
3
: for the duration of a specified period
month-long
all summer long
4
: at a point of time far before or after a specified moment or event
was excited long before the big day
5
: after or beyond a specified or implied time
didn't stay longer than midnight
6
: for a considerable distance
threw the ball long
7
: in or into a long position (as on a market)

long

3 of 6

noun

1
: a long period of time
2
: a long syllable
3
: one taking a long position especially in a security or commodity market
4
a
longs plural : long trousers
b
: a size in clothing for tall men

long

4 of 6

verb (1)

longed; longing ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce long (audio)

intransitive verb

: to feel a strong desire or craving especially for something not likely to be attained
they long for peace
longing to return home
longer noun

long

5 of 6

verb (2)

longed; longing; longs

intransitive verb

archaic
: to be suitable or fitting

long

6 of 6

abbreviation

Phrases
long in the tooth
: past one's best days : old
She's a little long in the tooth for those kinds of antics.
not long for
: having little time left to do or enjoy something
His grandfather is not long for this world.
the long and short or the long and the short
: gist
Choose the Right Synonym for long

long, yearn, hanker, pine, hunger, thirst mean to have a strong desire for something.

long implies a wishing with one's whole heart and often a striving to attain.

longed for some rest

yearn suggests an eager, restless, or painful longing.

yearned for a stage career

hanker suggests the uneasy promptings of unsatisfied appetite or desire.

always hankering for money

pine implies a languishing or a fruitless longing for what is impossible.

pined for a lost love

hunger and thirst imply an insistent or impatient craving or a compelling need.

hungered for a business of his own
thirsted for power

Examples of long in a Sentence

Adjective The bridge is the longest in the world. We drove a long distance. the long side of the building The whale was 50 feet long. How long was the race?” “The race was five miles long.” They've had a long and happy marriage. She finds it hard to sit still for long periods of time. The company has a long tradition of serving its customers well. A day is 24 hours long. The team has had a long streak of wins. Adverb The extra food she brought did not last long. They'll have to wait a bit longer. The mall has long been a popular hangout for teenagers. They have long been devoted friends. It's been so long since we've seen each other. It's been much too long since we've seen each other. That meeting was way too long. We had to leave long before we were ready to go. We talked all night long. events that occurred long before the discovery of America Noun they should be here before long
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In Seefried’s and other cases, a judge ordered release effective once each defendant more or less completes his longest misdemeanor sentence. Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 The spacious eat-in kitchen has been updated with white Shaker-style cabinets, gray-veined white marble counters, and stainless-steel designer appliances, while the service entrance was converted to a long, slender home office. Mark David, Robb Report, 9 Apr. 2024 Hosts Foxx and Valentine from Valentine in the Morning will be presented with music industry honors on behalf of iHeartMedia Los Angeles for its long standing relationship with the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2024 Learning the biology behind this age-old, rock-solid advice can encourage us to take other actions that will help promote a long and healthy life. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 9 Apr. 2024 Government officials chose the resort as the bunker site because of its isolated location, long relationship with the nation’s political elite and proximity to Washington, D.C. (about a four-hour drive away). Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Apr. 2024 Yet the long latency period of asbestos diseases has meant people have continued getting sick with lung problems. Amy Beth Hanson, Fortune, 9 Apr. 2024 Several acts extended long streaks of nominations in their categories. Paul Grein, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2024 While longer prison sentences bring a stronger sense of justice to victims’ families, some experts say harsher penalties will have a limited impact on preventing hit-and-run crashes and argue government officials should focus more energy on increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety. Ryan Lillis, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024
Adverb
The fashion industry has long been criticized for its storied past of exclusive sizing. Moises Mendez Ii, TIME, 10 Apr. 2024 While party leaders have long seen an opening to turn North Carolina blue, a Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won the state since 2008, when Barack Obama defeated John McCain by less than half a percentage point. Mary Ramsey, Charlotte Observer, 10 Apr. 2024 Gallery Desert House April 12-14 DJ Chantel Jeffries will headline poolside celebrations Friday, DJ Austin Millz will headline the party on Saturday, and house DJs Viva Latina and DJ Millie will spin beats all weekend long at Desert House by Gallery Media Group. Thania Garcia, Variety, 10 Apr. 2024 All year long, kids of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in the free Junior Ranger program in parks and online. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2024 If that's you, some huge and exciting video game releases are coming for summer 2024 to keep you busy — and out of the heat — all summer long. The Arizona Republic, 10 Apr. 2024 That process began long before Renaissance was set for release, but the hedonistic release that the dance music opus was more urgently needed in the aftermath of the pandemic. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2024 This can result in longer waiting times in the dining room and at the bars, something that is another common complaint from Costa cruisers. David Nikel, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Then San Diego State grabbed four more long after those things mattered. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024
Noun
Trapped in a world of manners and expectations, the princess seeks adventure and longs to prove her independence. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2024 Saturday, December 30th The Report San Francisco’s premiere retro-futuristic New Year’s Eve event, a three-day long, winter wonderland block party. Rose Eden, SPIN, 31 Dec. 2023 Their company assisted in the three-month long clean up and paid the City of Huntington Beach $1-million for costs in fees associated with the effort. Jireh Deng, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024 The 362-foot long, two-deck hub of activity keeps abuzz with 15 restaurants, bars and lounges, one being Dueling Pianos, the cruise line’s first double-pianist bar where two ivory-tickling musicians take requests each evening. David Dickstein, Orange County Register, 2 Feb. 2024 Their characters have a contentious relationship onscreen, as Cousin Greg longs to fit in with the Roy family and Uncle Ewan looks down upon him, threatening to pull his inheritance. Jaden Thompson, Variety, 4 Jan. 2024 The nation’s tiniest state — just 48 miles in one direction and 37 miles in the other — longs for recognition. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 Technical culture often longs for freedom from finitude. Jaron Lanier, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2024 Raised by a white mother, Ali longs to have a steadier relationship with her Black father, Davis (a soul-stirring Brandon Victor Dixon), a musician who’s frequently on the road and conveniently unable to live up to promises. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2023
Verb
Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet computer has gotten one of its smallest upgrades in recent memory, while the new 10th-gen iPad received things Pro owners have been longing for on their devices for years. Sheena Vasani, The Verge, 9 Mar. 2024 Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, December 2003 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Wrapped in ocean-blue Balenciaga couture, Alice perched on the mantel, longing to escape into the shadow world, as her black kitty purred nearby. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 28 Feb. 2024 That wry little scene doubles as a demonstration of how perfect fidelity to the truth can produce anticlimax instead of the epiphanies and breakthroughs for which Carmichael longs. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 Taylor Swift fans longing to see the Eras Tour in Europe or North America should beware of scammers getting creative to lure them into spending hundreds and thousands on fake tickets. Bryan West, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2024 Louis married a woman named Helen, who worked as a cigarette girl and longed to be a lounge singer; the family settled into a modest apartment building in striving Riverdale. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 People were longing for their lives to be represented authentically. Stuart Miller, Orange County Register, 14 Feb. 2024 Fish tacos are a go-to for me, especially during Lent when all those Friday fish sandwiches leave me longing for viable alternatives. The Enquirer, 6 Mar. 2024 While combating prostitution, the crushing influence of neighboring China, and longing for the past glory of her nation under Genghis Khan rule, Gerel was also struggling to raise her son Temuulen on her own. Annika Pham, Variety, 28 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'long.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Adverb, and Noun

Middle English long, lang, from Old English; akin to Old High German lang long, Latin longus

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English langian; akin to Old High German langēn to long, Old English lang long

Verb (2)

Middle English, from along (on) because (of)

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of long was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near long

Cite this Entry

“Long.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/long. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

long

1 of 3 adjective
longer ˈlȯŋ-gər How to pronounce long (audio) ; longest ˈlȯŋ-gəst How to pronounce long (audio)
1
: of great extent from end to end : not short
2
a
: having a specified length
a meter long
b
: forming the chief linear dimension
the long side of the table
3
: lasting for a considerable or specified time
a long friendship
two hours long
4
: overly long or lasting too long
a long look
a long explanation
5
: containing many or a specified number of units
a long series of wins
6
: being a syllable or speech sound of relatively great duration
7
: extending far into the future
8
: strong in or well supplied with something
long on golf
long on wisdom

long

2 of 3 adverb
1
: for or during a long time
long a popular hangout
2
: for the length of a specified period
all summer long
3
: at a distant point of time
long before we arrived

long

3 of 3 verb
longed; longing
ˈlȯŋ-iŋ
: to feel a strong desire or wish
longing to return home
Etymology

Adjective

Old English long, lang "extending a great distance"

Verb

Old English langian "to feel a strong desire for something"

Legal Definition

long

adjective
: owning or accumulating securities, goods, or commodities especially in anticipation of a rise in prices
a buyer long on wheat
compare short

Biographical Definition

Long 1 of 3

biographical name (1)

Crawford Williamson 1815–1878 American surgeon

Long

2 of 3

biographical name (2)

Hu*ey ˈhyü-ē How to pronounce Long (audio) Pierce 1893–1935 American politician

Long

3 of 3

biographical name (3)

Stephen Harriman 1784–1864 American army officer and explorer

More from Merriam-Webster on long

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