prolix

adjective
pro·​lix | \ prō-ˈliks How to pronounce prolix (audio) , ˈprō-(ˌ)liks How to pronounce prolix (audio) \

Definition of prolix

1 : unduly prolonged or drawn out : too long
2 : marked by or using an excess of words

Other Words from prolix

prolixity \ prō-​ˈlik-​sə-​tē How to pronounce prolix (audio) \ noun
prolixly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of prolix in a Sentence

The speech was unnecessarily prolix. a person known for habitually transforming brief anecdotes into prolix sagas that exhaust their listeners
Recent Examples on the Web Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Why would any presenter be prolix and wear out their welcome with any audience? Jerry Weissman, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Ames’s ruminations on the soul are prolix, philosophical, and profoundly sad. Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of prolix

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prolix

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

Learn More About prolix

Time Traveler for prolix

Time Traveler

The first known use of prolix was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About prolix

Dictionary Entries Near prolix

proline

prolix

prolixious

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for prolix

Cite this Entry

“Prolix.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prolix. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!