English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for an adjective that describes a living being as having very long ears (rabbit, donkey, etc.) preferably ending in "-uous".

share|improve this question
"A mule is an animal with long floppy ears..." – kiamlaluno Mar 31 '11 at 20:24
Not very relevant, but in Japanese it's "fukumimi" (福耳), which translates literally to "lucky ears". Buddha is depicted as having long ears, so it's thought that people with long ears have good fortune. One of those words that you wouldn't think exists. – Rei Miyasaka Mar 31 '11 at 23:04
There's a difference between having long drooping ear lobes like the Buddha and having a lengthened helix. Surely there is a medical term for either. – Mitch Apr 12 '13 at 13:14
up vote 28 down vote accepted

I believe you're looking for macrotous.

share|improve this answer
Go ahead, see if you can work that into a conversation. – Robusto Mar 31 '11 at 14:36
I've never come across macrotous before, and to be honest I'd be lucky to have understood it without a pretty good context. Macrotic would do it for me, since I'm good with otic for of the ear. But apparently macrosis applies to any swollen / enlarged tissue or body part, with no particular suggestion of that being the ears. – FumbleFingers Mar 31 '11 at 15:07
I love this site! :D – Marthaª Mar 31 '11 at 17:38
I don't agree with using words that no one but Merriam-Webster will understand; especially when there are perfectly good alternatives. Perhaps it's just the programmer in me, but this seems like the opposite of user-friendly (or should I say, discommodious?) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Mar 31 '11 at 18:16
@BlueRaja: I still remember Thomas Pynchon using musaceous (banana-like) at the beginning of Gravity's Rainbow, and then, after I waited for years to use it, someone finally asked me: "How's that banana?" – Neil G Mar 31 '11 at 18:22

You should probably just go with "long-eared" — I don't think there are any specific terms meaning that, except possibly scientific ones with Latin roots.

share|improve this answer
Long-eared is attested in my dictionary for at least one animal species, the “long-eared bat” – F'x Mar 31 '11 at 13:36
"-uous" suffix? – Uticensis Mar 31 '11 at 13:41
@Billare: "preferably ending in ..." – Robusto Mar 31 '11 at 14:14
@Billare: you can always go with long-earuous, or earuous for short. – RegDwigнt Mar 31 '11 at 14:23
Auritus -a -um: with ears, long-eared, having long ears – Callithumpian Mar 31 '11 at 14:43

Huh, you might say the animals have pendulous ears. That emphasizes the weight of the ears, as well as suggesting they hang in a droopy fashion.

Two super cute bunnies in a basket

share|improve this answer
rabbit and donkeys ears are not pendulous, they rise up from their base! – F'x Mar 31 '11 at 13:35
@F'x I have seen floppy rabbit ears before, but yeah, I was worried about that one. But donkeys? Really? Time to Google... – Uticensis Mar 31 '11 at 13:36
I believe there is a type of rabbit called "Lop-eared" or "a lop", which does in fact have pendulous ears. I recall a young kids book about one. "Leo the Lop". – mickeyf Mar 31 '11 at 13:41
+1 for adorable bunnies. – JSBձոգչ Mar 31 '11 at 13:52
@mickeyf: Good call on lop-eared: "(of an animal) having ears that droop down by the sides of the head: a lop-eared mule." Answer-worthy. – Callithumpian Mar 31 '11 at 14:23

Hyperotic could be construed to mean "over-eared" (otic), though the folks at Urban Dictionary have other ideas about the definition.

share|improve this answer

There's always "asinine". Although that does imply dim-witted, as well as visually reminiscent of a donkey, which is maybe more of an implication than you wanted!

share|improve this answer

How about Vulpine - of or relating to a fox. "He had vulpine ears"

share|improve this answer
...or vulcan ;-) – Zippy Apr 3 '11 at 16:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.