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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Pronunciation

IPA
RP ˌpɒl.ɪ.sɪˈlæb.ɪk
AusE ˌpɔl.ɪ.sɪˈlæb.ɪk
GenAm ˌpɑl.ɪ.sɪˈlæb.ɪk
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Adjective

polysyllabic (not comparable)

Positive
polysyllabic

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. (of a word) Having more than one syllable; having multiple or many syllables.
    "Antidisestablishmentarianism" definitely qualifies as a polysyllabic word.
  2. (of spoken or written language) Characterized by or consisting of words having numerous syllables.
    I have a particularly off-putting predilection for the utilization of ponderously polysyllabic linguistic constructions.

Usage notes

Authoritative sources disagree concerning the precise number of syllables needed for a word to count as polysyllabic. The references cited below variously stipulate anywhere from more than one syllable to four or more. In general usage, a polysyllabic word is a word which is regarded as lengthy and polysyllabic writing or speech is often regarded as elaborate, overly lengthy, or excessively complex.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

Singular
polysyllabic

Plural
polysyllabics

polysyllabic (plural polysyllabics)

  1. a word having more than one syllable

References

  • polysyllabic” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • "polysyllabic" in Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation.
  • "polysyllabic" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • "polysyllabic" in Compact Oxford English Dictionary, © Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.

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