1

oblong

adjective ob·long \ ˈä-ˌblȯŋ \
|Updated on: 28 Jun 2018

Definition of oblong

: deviating from a square, circular, or spherical form by elongation in one dimension
  • an oblong piece of paper
  • an oblong melon
— see leaf illustration

Recent Examples of oblong from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oblong.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Oblong is a general but useful term for describing the shape of things such as leaves. There's no such thing as an oblong circle, since a stretched circle has to be called an oval, and any rectangle that isn't square is oblong, at least if it's lying on its side (such rectangles can actually be called oblongs). Pills are generally oblong rather than round, to slide down the throat more easily. An oblong table will often fit a living space better than a square or round one with the same area. And people are always buried in oblong boxes.

Origin and Etymology of oblong

Middle English, from Anglo-French oblonge, from Latin oblongus, from ob- toward + longus long — more at long


2

oblong

noun

Definition of oblong

: something that is oblong
  • These paintings, predominately black with vertical or horizontal bisections of white mixed with streaks of red, blue, or ochre, are reminiscent of … Mark Rothko's irradiated oblongs.
  • The New Yorker

First Known Use of oblong

1590

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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OBLONG Defined for Kids

1

oblong

adjective ob·long \ ˈä-ˌblȯŋ \

Definition of oblong for Students

: different from a square, circle, or sphere by being longer in one direction than the other
  • an oblong tablecloth
  • an oblong melon

2

oblong

noun

Definition of oblong for Students

: a figure or object that is larger in one direction than the other


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