polysyllabicism (uncountable)

  1. (of linguistic expression) The state or characteristic of having a polysyllabic or overly complex style.
    • 1807, W. Taylor, Annual Review, p. 274,
      It will only facilitate the acquirement of a sesquipedalian diction, having the polysyllabicism without the precision of Johnson.
    • 1973, C. G. Dobbs, "Book Review of Soil Micro-Organisms by T. R. G. Gray and S. T. Williams (1971)," The Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 10, no. 2, p. 665,
      If polysyllabicism is considered more 'scientific,' should we not seize the opportunity to call the study of micro-organisms 'mico-organicology'?
    • 2005, Susan Elkin, In praise of polysyllabicism, Telegraph.co.uk, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Feb,
      Vocabulary is the meat, blood and bones of language.

Related termsEdit


  • polysyllabicism” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
Last modified on 18 June 2013, at 12:00