long 1 (lông, lŏng)
adj. long·er, long·est
a. Extending or traveling a relatively great distance.
b. Having relatively great height; tall.
c. Having the greater length of two or the greatest length of several: the long edge of the door.
2. Of relatively great duration: a long time.
3. Of a specified linear extent or duration: a mile long; an hour long.
4. Made up of many members or items: a long shopping list.
a. Extending beyond an average or standard: a long game.
b. Extending or landing beyond a given boundary, limit, or goal: Her first serve was long.
6. Tediously protracted; lengthy: a long speech.
7. Concerned with distant issues; far-reaching: took a long view of the geopolitical issues.
8. Involving substantial chance; risky: long odds.
9. Having an abundance or excess of: "politicians whose résumés are long on competence" (Margaret Garrard Warner).
10. Having a holding of a commodity or security in expectation of a rise in price: long on soybeans.
a. Linguistics Having a comparatively great duration. Used of a vowel or consonant.
b. Grammar Relating to or being the English speech sounds (ā, ē, ī, ō, ) that are tense vowels or diphthongs.
12. Being of relatively great duration. Used of a syllable in quantitative prosody.
adv. longer, longest
1. During or for an extended period of time: The promotion was long due.
2. At or to a considerable distance; far: She walked long past the end of the trail.
3. Beyond a given boundary, limit, or goal: hit the return long.
4. For or throughout a specified period: They talked all night long.
5. At a point of time distant from that referred to: That event took place long before we were born.
6. Into or in a long position, as of a commodity market.
1. A long time: This won't take long.
2. Linguistics A long syllable, vowel, or consonant.
3. One who acquires holdings in a security or commodity in expectation of a rise in price.
a. A garment size for a tall person.
b. longs Trousers extending to the feet or ankles.
For more time: can't wait any longer.
1. At a time or during a period well before the present: I read that book long ago.
2. A time well before the present: heroes of long ago.
long in the tooth
Not now as formerly: He no longer smokes.
not long for
Unlikely to remain for much more time in: not long for this world.
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.
[Middle English, from Old English lang; see del-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.