Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Extending or traveling a relatively great distance.
  • adj. Having relatively great height; tall.
  • adj. Having the greater length of two or the greatest length of several: the long edge of the door.
  • adj. Of relatively great duration: a long time.
  • adj. Of a specified linear extent or duration: a mile long; an hour long.
  • adj. Made up of many members or items: a long shopping list.
  • adj. Extending beyond an average or standard: a long game.
  • adj. Extending or landing beyond a given boundary, limit, or goal: Her first serve was long.
  • adj. Tediously protracted; lengthy: a long speech.
  • adj. Concerned with distant issues; far-reaching: took a long view of the geopolitical issues.
  • adj. Involving substantial chance; risky: long odds.
  • adj. Having an abundance or excess of: "politicians whose résumés are long on competence” ( Margaret Garrard Warner).
  • adj. Having a holding of a commodity or security in expectation of a rise in price: long on soybeans.
  • adj. Linguistics Having a comparatively great duration. Used of a vowel or consonant.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being the English speech sounds (ā, ē, ī, ō, o͞o) that are tense vowels or diphthongs.
  • adj. Stressed or accented. Used of a syllable in accentual prosody.
  • adj. Being of relatively great duration. Used of a syllable in quantitative prosody.
  • adv. During or for an extended period of time: The promotion was long due.
  • adv. At or to a considerable distance; far: She walked long past the end of the trail.
  • adv. Beyond a given boundary, limit, or goal: hit the return long.
  • adv. For or throughout a specified period: They talked all night long.
  • adv. At a point of time distant from that referred to: That event took place long before we were born.
  • adv. Into or in a long position, as of a commodity market.
  • n. A long time: This won't take long.
  • n. Linguistics A long syllable, vowel, or consonant.
  • n. One who acquires holdings in a security or commodity in expectation of a rise in price.
  • n. A garment size for a tall person.
  • n. Trousers extending to the feet or ankles.
  • idiom any longer For more time: can't wait any longer.
  • idiom before long Soon.
  • idiom long ago At a time or during a period well before the present: I read that book long ago.
  • idiom long ago A time well before the present: heroes of long ago.
  • idiom long in the tooth Growing old.
  • idiom no longer Not now as formerly: He no longer smokes.
  • idiom not long for Unlikely to remain for much more time in: not long for this world.
  • idiom the long and the short of it The substance or gist: You can look on the front page of the paper for the long and the short of it.
  • intransitive v. To have an earnest, heartfelt desire, especially for something beyond reach.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. On account of, because of.
  • v. To be appropriate to, to pertain or belong to.
  • adj. Having much distance from one terminating point on an object or an area to another terminating point (usually applies to horizontal dimensions; see Usage Notes below).
  • adj. Having great duration.
  • adj. Seemingly lasting a lot of time, because it is boring or tedious or tiring
  • adj. Not short; tall.
  • adj. possessing or owning stocks, bonds, commodities or other financial instruments with the aim of benefiting of the expected rise in their value.
  • adj. Of a fielding position, close to the boundary (or closer to the boundary than the equivalent short position).
  • adj. That land beyond the baseline (and therefore is out).
  • adv. Over a great distance in space.
  • adv. For a particular duration.
  • adv. For a long duration.
  • n. A long vowel.
  • n. A long integer variable, twice the size of an int or a short and half of a long long.
  • n. An entity with a long position in an asset.
  • v. To take a long position in.
  • v. To await, to aspire, to desire greatly (something to occur or to be true)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Drawn out in a line, or in the direction of length; protracted; extended
  • adj. Drawn out or extended in time; continued through a considerable tine, or to a great length
  • adj. Slow in passing; causing weariness by length or duration; lingering.
  • adj. Occurring or coming after an extended interval; distant in time; far away.
  • adj. Having a length of the specified measure; of a specified length
  • adj. Far-reaching; extensive.
  • adj. Prolonged, or relatively more prolonged, in utterance; -- said of vowels and syllables. See Short, a., 13, and Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 22, 30.
  • adj. Having a supply of stocks or goods; prepared for, or depending for a profit upon, advance in prices. Hence, the phrases: to be, or go, long of the market, to be on the long side of the market, to hold products or securities for a rise in price, esp. when bought on a margin. Contrasted to short.
  • n. A note formerly used in music, one half the length of a large, twice that of a breve.
  • n. A long sound, syllable, or vowel.
  • n. The longest dimension; the greatest extent; -- in the phrase, the long and the short of it, that is, the sum and substance of it.
  • adv. To a great extent in space.
  • adv. To a great extent in time; during a long time.
  • adv. At a point of duration far distant, either prior or posterior
  • adv. Through the whole extent or duration.
  • adv. Through an extent of time, more or less; -- only in question
  • prep. By means of; by the fault of; because of.
  • intransitive v. To feel a strong or morbid desire or craving; to wish for something with eagerness; -- followed by an infinitive, or by for or after.
  • intransitive v. To belong; -- used with to, unto, or for.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having great linear extent; not short; having notable or unusual extent; relatively much extended or drawn out: as, a long distance; long hair; a long arm.
  • Having linear or continuous extent in space; measured from end to end; viewed in the direction of the greatest distance (that is, the distance exceeding that of the width, or a line drawn at right angles to the width).
  • Tall: as, long Tom Coffin.
  • Having duration or extent in time; lasting in continuance: following a term of measurement or reckoning, or used relatively: as, a discourse an hour long; the longest day of the year.
  • Drawn out in duration; having unusual continuance; lasting; prolonged, as time, succession, etc.: as, long hours of labor; long illness; a long line of descendants; a long note.
  • Specifically— In prosody, greater in duration (technically called quantity) than the unit of time, or so regarded. A long vowel, or sometimes a vowel in a long syllable, is marked as such by a straight line above it, thus, ā. In ancient orthoepy and prosody a long vowel is regarded as consisting regularly of the sum of two similar short vowels, thus, ā = ă + ă, and a diphthong is also necessarily long as the sum of two dissimilar short vowels, thus, au = ă + ŭ. In either case, if either element is already long, the excess is not counted. See the phrases long by nature and long by position, below, and II.
  • In Eng. orthoëpy, noting one of the two or more principal pronunciations of each of the five true vowels, a, e, i, o, u, exemplified in the words fate, mete, site, note, mute, usually marked for pronunciation, as in this work, ā, ē, ī, ō, ū : opposed to the short sounds of the same letters in fat, met, sit, not, nut, frequently marked as ă ĕ, ĭ, ŏ, ŭ, but left unmarked in this work. The two sounds of the same letter now called long and short do not, for the most part, phonetically correspond to each other; but short is used specifically to note the more frequently employed of the shorter sounds of a certain letter, and long, by a similar limitation, for the more usual among the longer sounds of the same letter in our established orthography.
  • Far-reaching; far-seeing: as, a long look ahead.
  • Happening or occurring after a protracted interval; much delayed or postponed.
  • Seeming prolonged; tedious; wearisome: as, long hours of waiting.
  • The razorshell, Ensis americana.
  • n. Something that has length; also, the full extent: used in some elliptical expressions, as in English universities for the long vacation, and in the phrase the long and the short of it.
  • n. In prosody, a long time or syllable.
  • n. In medieval musical notation, a note equivalent in time-value either to three or to two breves, according as the rhythm was “perfect” or “imperfect.” Its form was
  • To a great extent in space; with much length: as, a line long drawn out.
  • Far; to or at a distance, or an indicated distance.
  • To a great extent in time; for an extended period; with prolonged duration: as, he has been long dead; it happened long ago, long before, or long afterward; a long-continued drought; a long-forgotten matter.
  • For a length of time; for the period of: used with terms of limitation: as, how long shall you remain? as long as I can; all day long.
  • To have a yearning or wistful desire; feel a strong wish or craving; hanker: followed by for or after before the object of desire, or by an infinitive.
  • To long for; desire.
  • Same as along: in the phrase long of, sometimes written ‘long of.
  • To belong.
  • An abbreviation of longitude.
  • See -ling.
  • Having a long time to run before maturing: as, a long bill; long (commercial) paper.
  • Well-or over-supplied: as, to be long in some commodity or stock. See long of stock, under long.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of speech sounds or syllables) of relatively long duration
  • adj. primarily spatial sense; of relatively great or greater than average spatial extension or extension as specified
  • adj. involving substantial risk
  • adj. good at remembering
  • v. desire strongly or persistently
  • adv. for an extended time or at a distant time
  • adj. of relatively great height
  • adv. for an extended distance
  • adj. having or being more than normal or necessary:
  • adj. primarily temporal sense; being or indicating a relatively great or greater than average duration or passage of time or a duration as specified
  • adj. holding securities or commodities in expectation of a rise in prices
  • adj. planning prudently for the future

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English lang; see del-1 in Indo-European roots.
Middle English longen, from Old English langian; see del-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Aphetic form of Old English gelang; the verb later reinterpreted as an aphetic form of belong. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English long, lang, from Old English long, lang ("long, tall, lasting"), from Proto-Germanic *langaz (“long”), from Proto-Indo-European *dl̥h₁gʰós (“long”). Cognate with Scots lang ("long"), North Frisian long, lung ("long"), Saterland Frisian loang ("long"), West Frisian lang ("long"), Dutch lang ("long"), German lang ("long"), Swedish lång ("long"), Icelandic langur ("long"), Latin longus ("long"), Ancient Greek δολιχός (dolikhos), Russian долгий (dólgij), длинный (dlinnyj). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English longen, from Old English langian ("to long for, yearn after, grieve for, be pained, lengthen, grow longer, summon, belong"), from Proto-Germanic *langōnan (“to desire, long for”), from Proto-Indo-European *dl̥h₁gʰós (“long”). Cognate with German langen ("to reach, be sufficient"), Swedish langa ("to push, pass by hand"), Icelandic langa ("to want, desire"), Dutch and German verlangen ("to desire, want, long for"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We cannot� be free as long as our human rights are violated, as long� as we don't have economic equality and as long as we� are not participating in gender-balanced political bodies.

    Remarks by Bella Abzug at the 42nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

  • "The men must be smuggling something, " she said, -and hiding it up Dafydd's 'long, long hole.

    Working Without a Net

  • Barney told Snubby of their idea to follow the men, if they went out that night, and see if they went up the 'long, long hole.

    Working Without a Net

  • It wasn't long before news reports fingered Robert Halderman, a producer at CBS 'long running crime show, 48 Hours Mystery, as the perpetrator of the alleged crime -- threatening to go public with details of Mr. Letterman's affairs with CBS employees, if the late night star didn't turn over a check for $ 2 million.

    Letterman's Alleged Blackmailer Is a Guy's Guy, Sort of Like Vince Vaughn

  • I have long contemplated the possibility that he and others are playing the 'long game 'in which, like the IRA in negotiations, it doesnt matter what you say or agree to because the end result is all that matters.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • When a business cycle recession is eight months 'long and the debate on what to do about it is six months' long, you missed the wave.

    CNN Transcript Apr 5, 2008

  • Osama's boys only had to keep a secret until they finished their mission and they weren't even able to keep it a secret for that long; the alarms had been ringing for a _long_ time before the WTC was destroyed, but a cover-up has to be kept secret _forever_.

    lies

  • But he sat by her side every day for a long, long… too many days to actually—months and months, over

    Alive In Truth

  • But, in my defense, I have seen a 'long synopsis' defined as, well, long. 15 pages for a 150K novel for example.

    Synopsis Flopsis

  • One of the sad side effects of living so far to the north. (weird -- I almost said, "and being married" -- I think I was single so freakin 'long in my life that my mind still feels like I'm single) It was fun to sit and have a good long talk along with great food.

    2001-03-29 12:55 a.m.

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