Definitions

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

  • adj. Tediously prolonged; wordy: editing a prolix manuscript.
  • adj. Tending to speak or write at excessive length. See Synonyms at wordy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tediously lengthy.
  • adj. Tending to use large or obscure words, which few understand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; minute in narration or argument; excessively particular in detail; -- rarely used except with reference to discourse written or spoken
  • adj. Indulging in protracted discourse; tedious; wearisome; -- applied to a speaker or writer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Long; extended.
  • Of long duration.
  • Long and wordy; extending to a great length; diffuse: as, a prolix oration or sermon.
  • Indulging in lengthy discourse; discussing at great length; tedious: as, a prolix speaker or writer.
  • Synonyms Long, lengthy, wordy, long-winded, spun out, prolonged.
  • Tiresome, wearisome.

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

  • adj. tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French prolixe, from Latin prōlixus, poured forth, extended.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prōlixus ("courteous, favorable"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus "the beadle whipped the beggar," in prolix language might be expressed, the beadle with a whip struck in time past the beggar.

    Note XIV

  • As a teacher of college English, I love the way you use the words "prolix" and "occlude".

    WalMart, SchmalMart

  • Its narrative drags along and itsnarrator's language is leaden and unnecessarily prolix to theextent thatI mostly had to force myself to finish the book.

    The Reading Experience

  • In fact, the distances she needs to bridge are far greater than Orwell's – Wigan miners weren't to old Etonians as hill tribes are to metropolitan Indians – and her writing is more prolix and melodramatic.

    Arundhati Roy: India's bold and brilliant daughter

  • Subsequent to the allegations of research misconduct, his responses have been prolix, confusing, evasive and occasionally contradictory.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A New Book Coming Soon from Michael Bellesiles

  • With more than 50 million Larsson books sold world-wide, publishers scrambled to anoint his literary heir—preferably a political and prolix Scandinavian.

    Tattooed by Politics

  • Will Self indulged in a prolix exchange on the subject of branding; Mark Dolan of Balls of Steel hosted a chat show; and comedian Adam Riches challenged the crowd to Swingball.

    The art of banter: 'It's like a boxing match. It can be bruising'

  • There was no sporting reference in that primitive debutant issue of 25 October 1961 – six corny homemade pages printed on yellow paper – but over the following half-century the magazine has significantly cast its wittily baleful eye over the prolix and self-important pomposities of modern professional sport and thank heaven for it.

    Fifty years of Private Eye's eccentric eye view of sport | Frank Keating

  • For these sceptics, the voluminous literature on the subject amounts to nothing more than a prolix reply to a simple question: "What will I drink with dinner tonight?"

    The best wine and food matches

  • Everyone hates the prolix Gaddafi, particularly Arab despots who he routinely blasts as "old women in robes," "Zionist lackeys," and "cowards and thieves."

    Eric Margolis: After Bombing Libya, What Now?

Comments

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  • "The text itself was mannered and prolix" by Nicolas Rothwell in Wings of the Kite-Hawk, p.25

    December 16, 2013

  • Dictionary.com, •All the cases give lengthy extracts from the judgments which, at first sight, may appear to be somewhat prolix.

    November 5, 2010

  • "prose too prolix"

    July 13, 2009

  • homophonicmountebankantonym.

    October 10, 2008

  • To me, it sounds like prolific, which isn't its opposite and in fact helps me remember what it means! But do you mean contronym? (I don't think that's quite right either.)

    Also, thanks, WeirdNet, for #4. That cleared it all up for me.

    October 10, 2008

  • This word sounds like is opposite. What sort of -nym is that?

    October 10, 2008

  • "From the enormously prolix yet concordant testimony of the released prisoners it became apparent that she was the consort of a much more formidable ship..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 71

    February 29, 2008

  • sounds like logorrhea to me...

    April 22, 2007