oblong

1 of 2

adjective

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

oblong

2 of 2

noun

: 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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Got droop of bottom, or oblong bosom of sorrow? Go not to body doctors to crop or boost tomorrow. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2022 There was no sewerage system in place, and the lavatories amounted to sixty buckets housed outside, beneath an oblong tent. Simon Parkin, Time, 2 Nov. 2022 The car is still in space, taking an oblong path around the sun that swings out as far as Mars’ orbital path. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 1 Nov. 2022 The pair were interested in a certain kind of oblong shape, one that could be squeezed and folded up in very particular ways and stuffed inside a ball. Leila Sloman, Quanta Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 The new oblong shape is better designed for a superyacht, as opposed to the tall shape of most submersibles, since the height of a tender garage often determines what type of submersible is carried on board. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 14 Oct. 2022 The shower system features an array of luxurious sprays, including an oblong showerhead and seven sprays, from deep massage to a full-body mist. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, 30 Sep. 2022 The oblong pit near the terminator might be a degraded impact crater, NASA says. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 29 Sep. 2022 Glue small leaves on the front of a small oblong pumpkin, overlapping them slightly, to create feathers. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

Noun

derivative of oblong entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

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 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

oblong 1 of 2

adjective

ob·​long
ˈäb-ˌlȯŋ
: longer in one direction than in the other
an oblong shoe box
an oblong watermelon

oblong

2 of 2

noun

: an oblong figure or object
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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