Another question on the site made me take notice that through is monosyllabic, but quite long. Are there longer monosyllabic words? What's the longest disyllabic word in English?

Edit: so, Wikipedia has a page for monosyllabic words, but none for disyllabic ones. Anyone can think of any long disyllabic example?

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    measured how? vocally, orthographically? – bmargulies May 5 '11 at 20:28
  • @bmargulies: orthographically – F'x May 5 '11 at 20:30
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    I'm guessing we aren't allowed to suggest, Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhh! – Jon Hanna Jan 16 '13 at 14:02
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    Defining syllables orthographically does not really make any sense, but I guess we can assume the intended definition is “containing only one/two vowel(s)/vowel combination(s)”. If we define instead by phonetic syllables (and include proper names), the longest disyllabic word I can think of is the surname Featherstonehaugh (pronounced /ˈfænʃɔː/, for no apparent reason other than English aristocracy). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 12 '13 at 19:25
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    To quote my childhood: What is the longest word in the English language? ... It is smiles. There is a mile between each "s"! – RichF Feb 7 '17 at 4:04

From Wikipedia:

  • Strengths is the longest word in the English language containing only one vowel.

  • Rhythms is the longest word in the English language containing none of the five recognised vowels.

  • Schmaltzed and strengthed appear to be the longest monosyllabic words recorded in OED; but if squirrelled is pronounced as one syllable only (as permitted in SOED for squirrel), it is the longest.

This Wikipedia article suggests that schtroumpfed is the longest; however, it's really a stretch to say this is an English word in any even remotely established sense (and I am definitely not strict in the words I would consider to be "part of" a language).


Strengths is a nine-lettered monosyllable. And it is compulsory to mention that smiles has one mile between the two S's...

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    THWACK! (but +1 anyway) – Marthaª May 5 '11 at 20:31

http://braingle.com/news/hallfame.php?path=language/english/pronunciation/syllable.p&sol=1 gives "scratchbrushed" (14 letters) as the longest 2-syllable word. A more common word is "breakthroughs" (13 letters).

If you allow hyphens, perhaps "straight-stretched" (17 letters) is acceptable.


Scraunched Scroonched Strengthed

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    Despite your unembellished brevity, I think you may actually be on to something there. Alas, schmaltzed given separately) ties you. But these are all of the same form of a liquid *s (possibly palatalized) following by an optional stop and then a nasal or liquid, and finally given an -ed suffix. One might make something of that. – tchrist Jan 29 '13 at 2:52

Wikipedia's list includes the 11-letter "broughammed," which means to be taken by brougham, a type of carriage. Its meaning is similar to that of "bused" or "carted."


Assuming you don't allow hyphens for disyllabic words, the London street name Knightsbridge is 13 letters. (It is also one of the rare words with six consonants in a row.)


Wikipedia has a nice list. Schmaltzed is probably the longest "real word", being in the OED, but it depends on what you consider standard / reputable.

I'm not sure about disyllabic words.

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    Did you just equate “real word” and “being in the OED”? Courageous. – tchrist Jan 29 '13 at 2:52
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    @tchrist See the quotes and the caveat that follows? – Matthew Read Jan 29 '13 at 3:37

Strengths ties with twelfths for the longest word in the English language containing only one vowel. Although, in view of my contributions elsewhere

Is a syllable defined phonetically or etymologically?

I have to say I'm not sure I can happily call it a monosyllable ("two elfs").

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