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ob·​long ˈä-ˌblȯŋ How to pronounce oblong (audio)
: deviating from a square, circular, or spherical form by elongation in one dimension
an oblong piece of paper
an oblong melon
see leaf illustration


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: 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

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.

Examples of oblong in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Water frost detected on Mars' volcanoes in 'significant' first discovery: Study Likening the orbit to a coin donation funnel, Bell explained that the spacecraft would go into an oblong orbit and intersect with Mars to descend to the surface in a circle instead of only using fuel to get there. Leah Sarnoff, ABC News, 12 July 2024 The camera includes a front control dial at the top of its bump-sized handgrip, along with an oblong shutter release, Mode dial, and On/Off button just behind it. PCMAG, 29 June 2024
Design: Like Half an Egg With Half a Screen With an oblong profile that looks like an egg cut in half width-wise, the Echo Spot closely resembles the $39.99 Echo Pop. PCMAG, 10 July 2024 Design and Features: Sleek and Simple At roughly 2.8 by 8.6 by 2.8 inches (HWD) and 1.5 pounds, the oblong Pill strongly resembles the original. PCMAG, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for oblong 

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

Word History



Middle English oblonge, oblong, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French oblonge, borrowed from Latin oblongus "of greater length than breadth," from ob-, perhaps in sense "facing, against" + longus "having linear extent, long" — more at ob-, long entry 1


derivative of oblong entry 1

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1590, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oblong was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near oblong

Cite this Entry

“Oblong.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oblong. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: longer in one direction than in the other
an oblong shoe box
an oblong watermelon


2 of 2 noun
: an oblong figure or object
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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