Tag Archive: dictionary


Oxford English Dictionary – An introduction and 10 amazing facts

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a premier and globally the most popular dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press – the largest university press in the world.

Oxford Dictionary

It all began in 1857 when members of the Philological Society of London (the oldest learned society in Great Britain dedicated to the study of language) concluded that the then existing English language dictionaries were incomplete in many respects.  A full-blown review of the language was the outcome of the conclusion and deliberations and this is the genesis of the Oxford Dictionary.  What however started with tremendous fanfare and an initial timeline of 10 years took decades to evolve and the first part of the dictionary could be published in 1884.

Other facts around the Oxford English Dictionary:


  1. Other than words coined in Britain, the dictionary encompasses borrowed foreign words from various countries, such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, etc.
  2. The first edition of the OED (with ten volumes and 400,000 definitions) was published in 1928, 71 years after it had been conceived.
  3.  The second edition (with twenty volumes) was published in 1989.
  4. The CD-ROM version of the dictionary was first published in 1992.
  5. The online version has been available since 2000.
  6. OED has never been commercially profitable for its publishers Oxford University Press at any point of time.
  7. It may never be published on paper in future.
  8. According to OED, the longest word in the English language is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis”, which refers to a lung disease (inflammation in the lungs) caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust.
  9. One of the members involved in creating OED, William Chester Minor, was a psychopathic murderer and did much of his OED research while in a lunatic asylum.
  10. In spite of its massive size, OED is not the world’s largest dictionary of a language, a distinction held by the Dutch dictionary Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal.

OED is recognized the world over as the ultimate authority on the (English) language.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the OED with descriptions for approximately 600,000 words is the world’s most comprehensive single-language print dictionary.  Other than an important record of the evolution of English language, OED is considered symbolic of the continuing development of the society.


The Longest English Word with 189,819 letters

This fact may be hardly known to many and we are not just talking about non-native english speakers but english speakers as well. Also this is not just the longest name of any word in english but the longest word in any other language.
The Longest word in English Language consists of 189,819 (One Eighty Nine Thousand Eight Hundred and Nineteen) Letters. It is the chemical name of titin (the largest known protein) and is responsible for the passive elasticity of the muscle. It consists of 244 proteins.

Longest English Word

We are not sure whether this word is written in any dictionary or book and would rather love if some one could refer us the written material but we know the start and end words.
It starts from “Methionylthreo” and ends at “isoleucine”.

Longest English Word Published

While we cannot figure our the largest word that is published or not but we do know that the longest word published in English has 1913 letters in it, it is the chemical name for tryptophan (One of the 20 standard amino acids).
It starts from “Methionylglut” and ends at “serine”

Although these words are not used in daily routine but still there are many words with lots of characters. Let us tell you some other Longest words in English.

Its total length is 183 letters, not found in any dictionary but the longest name ever used by an
author in his book.

A 45-letter word, used for a lung disease, often called as Silicosis. It is the longest English word
appeared in Oxford’s Dictionary.

Another English 34-letter word. It was used in a song in a Disney movie Mary Poppins that was written by Sherman Brothers.

An English word having 30 letters in it, is used as a medical disorder.

A 27 letter word that was used by Shakespeare in his writings.

Some other amazing long English words:

Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters)
Antidisestablishmentarianism (28 letters)
Otorhinolaryngological (22 letters)
Psychophysicotherapeutics (25 letters)

Now it’s your turn, if there are some other words that you think should be included in the list above, feel free to post it in the comments below.

Image credit: kirjoittaessani marcus_jb1973