Check out our FREE sight word worksheets – we have over 150 in our database!


Sesquipedalian is a word containing many syllables; it is a really long word. In Latin, it translates to “a foot and a half.” Sesquipedalian words are appropriate for spelling bees, word study and vocabulary development. Ideally select 3 to 5 words a week to increase your child’s vocabulary in either middle or high school.

Sesquipedalian Words

The list below contains over 160 sesquipedalian words and a brief definition. The smallest words contain 12 letters and the largest word contains 29 letters.

abovementionedmentioned before; noted earlier in text
abracadabrawords spoken by magician
absentmindedhabitually forgetful or inattentive disposition
acculturation adopting cultural traits, ideas or habits of another group
acetaminophennonaspirin medicine used to reduce pain and fevers
acknowledgementrecognition of the existence or truth
aforementionedcited or mentioned previously
aggrandizementan act or instance of making greater; increasing in size or intensity
alphanumericusing letters, numbers, and special characters, e.g., punctuation marks
anagrammaticallya word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters
analphabeticnot alphabetic order
anesthesiologista physician who gives pain and sensation medication prior to treatment
anthropocentricregards humans as the central fact of the universe; centering views around humans
anthropomorphismattributing human characteristics to animals or objects
atherosclerosiscondition of having fatty deposits in one's arteries
authoritarianismgoverning with strict obedience; favoring complete obedience as opposed to individual freedom
baccalaureate*bachelor's degree.
biodegradabilitycapable of decaying through the action of living organisms; can be broken down naturally to return to elements
bougainvilleaa type of flowering vine or shrub
bureaucratizationto organize like a government with rules and procedures
characterizationportrayal; a description of qualities or appearance
cinematographythe art or technique of motion-picture photography; shooting of a film
circumambulateto walk or go about or around, especially ceremoniously
circumlocutiona roundabout or indirect way of speaking; the use of more words than necessary to express an idea
circumnavigateto sail or fly around; make the circuit of by navigation, e.g., to circumnavigate the earth
claustrophobiaan abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places
colloquialismpart of informal way of speaking rather than formal speech or writing; informal
committeewomena woman serving as a member of a committee
compartmentalizationto divide into categories or put into separate sections
consequentiallyfollowing as an effect, as a result of, or outcome
contemporaneousliving or occurring during the same period of time; two things happening at the same time
contemporaneous*living or occurring during the same period of time
counterclockwisein a direction opposite to that of the normal rotation of the hands of a clock; not clockwise - going left to right in a circular motion
counterproductivethwarting the achievement of an intended goal; tending to defeat one's purpose; outcomes are the opposite of what was intended
cruciverbalista designer or fanatic of crossword puzzles
dermatologicalthe branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases
disadvantageousunfavorable; detrimental or harmful
disappointmentto fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of; not as expected
disciplinariana person who enforces or advocates strict rule of behavior
discontinuationa breach or interruption of continuity or unity; not continuing
disenfranchisementto deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity
disproportionatebeing out of proportion
eavesdroppingto listen secretly to what is said in private
electrocardiogramthe visual record of electrical activity in the heart, also referred to as EKG or ECG
electroencephalogramvisual record of electrical activity in the brain, also referred to as EEG
electromagneticallyof or pertaining to electromagnetism or electromagnetic fields
encyclopediaa book or set of books containing information about many topics
epidemiologicalrelated to the study of diseases in large populations
euphemisticallyusing mild or indirect language to refer to something harsh or sensitive
experimentationa test, trial or procedures performed for the purpose of discovering something unknown or to test a principle
extemporaneousnot rehearsed; without preparation; impromptu
extemporaneous*done, spoken or performed without special advance preparation; impromptu
floccinaucinihilipilificationthe estimation of something as valueless, rarely used
fossilizationto process of turning into fossil; replace organic with mineral substances in the remains of an organism
geochronologicalthe chronology of the earth; relating to the periods n the history of the world
grandiloquence*speech that is lofty in tone, often to the point of being pompous orbombastic
heterogeneousdifferent in kind; unlike
humanitarianismhaving concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people
hypersensitivityexcessively sensitive
hyperventilationexcessively rapid and deep breathing
hypochondriacan excessive preoccupation with one's health
iconographera person who draws illustrations or symbols
idiosyncratica characteristic, habit, mannerism or behavior that is peculiar or strange to an individual
immensurableincapable of being measured; limitless; not able to be measured
impenetrabilitynot penetrable; cannot be penetrated, pierced or entered
incandescence*the emission of visible light by a body, caused by its high temperature
incomprehensibleimpossible to understand or comprehend
incriminationto accuse of or present proof of a crime or fault
indistinguishableimpossible to tell apart
interconnectivityto connect with one another
interdepartmentalinvolving or existing between two or more departments
interdisciplinarycombining or involving two or more academic disciplines or fields of study
interscholasticexisting or carried on between schools
kindergartnera child who attends a kindergarten
lexicographera writer, editor, or compiler of a dictionary
mathematicianan expert or specialist in mathematics
megalomaniacalobsessed with actions or ideas on a grand scale; a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness or wealth
metamorphosisthe process of changing from one thing to another, caterpillar to pupa to butterfly
meteorologista person who studies the weather
microbiologista person who studies the smallest organisms or living things
mispronunciationto pronounce the wrong way; to say a word incorrectly
monochromaticallyhaving or consisting of one color or hue
multidimensionalhaving more than one dimension
neurotransmittera substance that aids or hinders transmission of nerve impulses
nonconformancenot acting according to accepted social standards, attitudes, practices or rules
nondiscriminatorynot prejudice; not showing a difference in behavior toward someone or something
oceanographera person who studies the ocean
octogenarianbetween 80 and 90 years old
omnivorousnesseating both animal and plant foods
orthographythe art of writing words with the proper letters, according to accepted usage; correct spelling
overemphasizeto make too much of; to emphasize excessively
pachydermala thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates,e.g., elephant, hippopotamus and rhinoceros
pandemoniumchaos, noisy and out of control
parallelograma four sided shape with opposite sides parallel to each other
parentheticalexplanatory information contained within parentheses
peacekeepingthe maintenance of peace through enforcement and supervision
perpendicularvertical; straight up and down; upright
perspicaciouskeen perception and understanding
phantasmagoricala fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination
pharmaceuticalpreparing and dispensing drugs and medicines prescribed to treat illness
philosophunculista person who pretends to know more than he or she actually does
phosphorescencegiving off light after exposure to energy; "glow in the dark"
polyunsaturateda type of fat or oil like corn or sunflower oil
pomegranatea red-skinned fruit with juicy pulp and many seeds
prestidigitationsleight of hand magic; trickery or deception
primatologista person who studies primates, e.g., apes and monkeys
prognosticatorto forecast or predict
pseudonymoususe of a false or fictitious name, like a pen name
pseudosophisticatedgiven the appearance of being worldly
psychodynamicinteraction of mental and emotional processes in behavior, e.g., Freud's clinical approach to personality
psychosomatica physical disorder that is caused by emotional or mental stress
pusillanimouslacking courage or resolution; cowardly
pyrotechnistperson who sets off fireworks
quadricentennial400th anniversary; the completion of a period of four hundred years
quinquenniuma period of five years
rambunctiousdifficult to control or handle; wildly boisterous
reconceptualizationto form into a concept; a rethinking of an idea
refurbishmentto restore or renew; renovate
reinforcementto strengthen
reminiscencea memory; recalling a past experiences or events
replenishmentto make full or complete again; replacing or refilling
representativea person, thing or idea that takes the place of others or serves as an example
responsibilitiesduties or obligations
revolutionarybringing about a major change
septuagenariana person who is between 70 and 80 years old
sesquicentennial150th anniversary; the completion of a period of 150 years
simplificationto make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier
somnambulista person who sleepwalks; walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening
sportsmanshipplay fair; exhibit sportsmanlike conduct, e.g., fairness, courtesy, respectful and cheerful even if you lose
stomachachepain in the stomach or abdomen
subterraneanunderground; existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth
superciliousprideful, haughtily disdainful or contemptuous
superfluousbeing more than is sufficient or required; excessive
syllabicationto break words down into pronounceable parts
tantalizinglysomething that provokes temptation, interest or desire but remains unobtainable or beyond one's reach
thousand folda thousand times; having a thousand elements or parts
tintinnabulationthe ringing or sound of bells
transcontinentalpassing or extending across a continent
transcriptionto make a written copy, especially a typewritten copy, of dictated or spoken material
transportationto carry, move, or convey from one place to another
trustworthinessdeserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable
underdevelopmentnot normally or adequately developed 
understatementto represent as less than is the case 
unexceptionalnot out of the ordinary; commonplace
unidirectionalcoming from one direction; a single direction
uninformativenot providing information
unperturbednot worried; calm
vaccinationto administer a vaccine to prevent disease
ventriloquista person who speaks with little or no lip movement so that the voice does not appear to come from the speaker but from another source, e.g. a wooden dummy
verbalizationto express in words; something spoken
verisimilitudethe appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability
vernacularismpertaining to common or native language
vicissitudesa change or variation occurring in the course of something
vinaigrettea salad dressing using vinegar as a main ingredient
volunteerismvoluntarily offering a service or undertaking; the act of offering to do something
vulnerabilitycapable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt
warmheartedhaving or showing sympathy, affection, kindness and cordiality
weatherproofable to withstand exposure to all kinds of weather
whatchamacallitan object or person whose name one does not know or cannot recall
xerographicrelated to photocopy
zenzizenzizenicthe 8th power of a number

Source: Fry, E.B., Ph.D. & Kress, J.E., Ed.D. (2006). The Reading
Teacher’s Book of Lists 5th Edition.
San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass
(Note: We added 5 words which are designated by an asterisk -*).

Online Dictionaries: and

1 comment… add one
  • I really like your website! You provide great worksheets and a lot of valuable info. TY!!


Leave a Comment