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 family A. 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 thoughts H. 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 reward W. 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'a 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

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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

Example Sentences

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 See More

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 25 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition

long 1 of 4

adjective

longer
ˈlȯŋ-gər
; longest
ˈlȯŋ-gəst
1
: of great length from end to end : not short
a long hallway
2
: lasting for some time : not brief
a long friendship
a long wait
3
: being more than the usual length
a long book
4
: having a stated length (as in distance or time)
40 feet long
an hour long
5
: of, relating to, or being one of the vowel sounds \ā, ē, ī, ō, ü\ and sometimes \ä\ and \ȯ\

long

2 of 4

adverb

1
: for or during a long time
Were you away long?
2
: for the whole length of
I slept all night long.
3
: at a distant point of time
long ago

long

3 of 4

noun

: a long time
They'll be here before long.

long

4 of 4

verb

longed; longing
: to wish for something very much
She longed for the sound of Mama's strong and assured laughter. Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

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

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