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I'm looking for the longest English word that has no variants, where a variant might be

  1. A singular or plural form
  2. A conjugated form
  3. A form in another part of speech

For example, mouse would fail by all those rules: it has a plural ("mice"); as a verb, it has conjugated forms ("mousing", "moused"); it has an adverbial form ("mousy") and other noun forms ("mouser").

Obviously, pretty much any verb would be out, as would any countable noun that has a plural. I'm also excluding words that are just conglomerations of other words like "whatsoever".

Right now, I've got some five-letter word -- "moose", "there" -- and "through", which has seven but I'm thinking should be excluded because of "throughway" and "throughput".

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throughway and throughput aren't variants of through. I might argue that mooses is valid when referring to types of moose, however :P – Matthew Read May 9 '11 at 23:11
Mooses? Seriously? – Malvolio May 10 '11 at 2:03

Usually the invariable words are the function words: interjections, adverbs, etc.

I excluded:

  1. Words like "underground", which I thought you could disagree with as under + ground;
  2. Words like "intentionally", because it had variants like "intentional" or "unintentional";
  3. Words like "old-fashioned" because of both the reasons above.

So, selecting among them, I could find:

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Underneath is a combination of under + neath, so I am not sure how it is different from underground. Draconian is an adjective that comes from the noun Draco. Tomorrow is to + morrow (also it can be pluralized as tomorrows). – Kosmonaut May 9 '11 at 23:42
@Kosmonaut: Even Schadenfreude is a combination of Schaden (harm) + Freude (joy). About Draconian and tomorrow... If we consider even the etymological combinations through history, than we can exclude basically every word. – Alenanno May 10 '11 at 0:20
I removed Underneath. By the way, technically neath does not exist. It's an abbreviation of beneath, it's even displayed as 'neath in my NOAD. It doesn't cancel what you said about it being a combination of two words, I know, I just wanted to be precise. – Alenanno May 10 '11 at 0:38
@Alenanno: The word Schadenfreude is only a combination of those words in German. In English, Schadenfreude is a whole-word borrowing whose components are nontransparent. Schaden and freude are not words in English at all. The words Draconian and tomorrow are made up of English morphemes (and a name). If Draconian is worth including, then why not machiavellian? – Kosmonaut May 10 '11 at 1:24
I like draconian (because Draco is a proper noun, not a "word"). Machiavellian is out, not because of Machiavelli, but because of machiavel -- the noun variant form. Tomorrow has a plural. I like underneath. – Malvolio May 10 '11 at 2:03

Schadenfreude — Though this word has variants in German, it lacks them in English.

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Wiktionary cites several occurrences of Schadenfreuder. – Malvolio May 10 '11 at 0:59
I've never heard schadenfreuder, but oh well. – Kosmonaut May 10 '11 at 1:25


RHADAMANTHINE = 13 letters


Definition of obdiplostemonous: Having twice the number of stamens as the number of petals. Definition of rhadamanthine : Rigorously just and severe.

Definition of zenzizenzizenzic: The eight power of a number

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Maybe you mean "etiquette"? – Alenanno May 9 '11 at 23:38
Yep. Very poor spelling – Thursagen May 9 '11 at 23:41
As a verb, statuminate has conjugational forms. – Kosmonaut May 9 '11 at 23:49
Statuette certainly has a plural -- checking on etiquette. – Malvolio May 10 '11 at 0:57
Sadly, "etiquettes" yields more than 4 million hits on Google. Plus, it just occurred to me: statuette is just a diminutive of statue. The search continues. – Malvolio May 10 '11 at 1:02

If medical terms count, how about the 45-letter standard English word


which of course means "black lung disease"?

I know of no variants. I don't see a rule against combination words, just forms of the same word. Does anyone else know of a variant to this one?

(Too bad variants are excluded. My favorite longest one-syllable word is "strengths." Nine letters. Yes, it has variants, but one syllable, you know...?)

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pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosises – Paul Amerigo Pajo May 10 '11 at 10:21
@pageman: just because that would be the plural doesn't mean it exists. Would you accept smallpoxes? Also, I think the last 'is' is superfluous. – TimLymington Jul 1 '11 at 11:46
@Tim thanks for that! haha – Paul Amerigo Pajo Jul 3 '11 at 9:42

try supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (it's 34 letters!)


1. Fantastic, very wonderful

or try this protein molecule with 189,819 letters - you can find the whole word here - I think the plural of this word is the same word.

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Um, is it Standard English? – Thursagen May 9 '11 at 23:50
@Third Idiot see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_word_in_English – Paul Amerigo Pajo May 10 '11 at 0:01
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ly. – Kosmonaut May 10 '11 at 1:29
@Kosmonaut you meant Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously? – Paul Amerigo Pajo May 10 '11 at 10:20
I am saying that an adjective like this can become an adverb, taking -ly, so it has a "variant" as defined in this question. – Kosmonaut May 10 '11 at 17:27

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