Definitions

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

  • n. A word of more than three syllables.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A word with more than two syllables. Sometimes used in a more restricted sense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A word of many syllables, or consisting of more syllables than three; -- words of less than four syllables being called monosyllables, dissyllables, and trisyllables.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A word of several syllables; usually, a word of four or more syllables, words of one syllable being called monosyllables, those of two dissyllables, and those of three trisyllables.

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

  • n. a word of more than three syllables

Etymologies

poly- +‎ syllable (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He spoke in sentences that clocked in at a grade-school level, the speed of delivery was lugubrious, or perhaps aimed at the part of the audience that processes the occasional polysyllable rather slowly.

    Discourse.net: The Speeches

  • They belong in the category because they contain polysyllable words and can be slightly harder to read and follow.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Right alongside of this are vocabulary choices – go with the polysyllable or the Anglo-Saxon four letter version?

    Decisions, Decisions « Hyperpat’s HyperDay

  • Palin may be proud she can handle a polysyllable like "socialist" without screwing it up, but the rest of the world is terrified to think that she may have any input, at all, in shaping our foreign policy, and we should be, too.

    1960 Revisited?

  • Indian English, with its fascination for the polysyllable and the poetic, has a special flavor of its own as it is concocted through the transcreation of a thought process forged originally in Oriya, or Telugu, etc.

    We are like that only

  • We are like that only Indian English, with its fascination for the polysyllable and the poetic, has a special flavor of...

    Who are the collective folks? perhaps Deshpande can tell you

  • She then thanked the lady in the lift for pushing button 1, and remarked to me, "The lady pushed 1 which is for us because we need to go to 1, wasn't it unintelligible polysyllable of the lady?"

    Today's Emer word: "Dow[n]". Today's stress: shoe-shopping

  • Spite is a little word; but it represents as strange a jumble of feelings, and compound of discords, as any polysyllable in the language.

    Nicholas Nickleby

  • Kenneth Quinn's note in my edition reads: lasarpiciferis: ...'rich in silphium'; if the plant , the main export of Cyrene was asafoetida the attribution is doubtful then perhaps C. devised his learned polysyllable as an ironic corrective to the literary associations of the name Cyrene.

    languagehat.com: ROMAN LASER.

  • American edition, can only be brought to any kind of rule by accenting each polysyllable on the last, and is not, when even that is done, a pleasant piece of caprice.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 11, No. 23, February, 1873

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