How do you describe a book or article that has big vocabularies. For example, this book is too ___ for my taste.

Thank you!

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    vocabularidocious? vocabulariffic? vocabularrible? vocabularongous? It has a high degree of vocabularity or vocabularicity?
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:36
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    When you say “big vocabularies”, I presume you mean that the book uses too many big, difficult words? Vocabularies (in the plural) are collections of words, like a glossary; a school book about French may have several vocabularies in the back, for example, giving the English meanings of difficult French words used in the chapters of the book. Are you trying to find a word that describes such a text book where the vocabularies in the back take up too much space compared to the main chapters? I very much doubt there is a word for that. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:37
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    Also, (assuming you’re not talking about French school books), are you talking specifically about books that use too many individual words? Or are you talking more generally about books that are written in difficult language that makes them hard to understand? You can write something very difficult to understand with only simple words; and you can use a very big vocabulary but still write in a way that is simple and easy to read. What exactly is it about this book or article that you wish to describe? Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:42
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    Wordy - if I'm being sensible.
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 21:14
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    I think the idea of a single-word adjective meaning contains too many obscure words [that I don't understand] might be slightly self-defeating. Usually the only people who might need such a word would be the very same people who wouldn't be familiar with it. (Including me, if such a word does exist! :) As a "near miss", I'd suggest rarefied. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 22:51

12 Answers 12


The vocabulary of the book is too difficult for me.

  • Or "I don't understand this book" Or "It's too hard to read" Or "this book is so difficult, it's unreadable" etc.. Which is what the OP really wants to say.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 3:28
  • A book can have a "difficult" vocabulary that isn't large at all, e.g. if it uses a few scientific or archaic terms sprinkled among an otherwise common vocabulary. This word might fit the particular example given by the asker, but it does not inherently suggest any size of vocabulary.
    – talrnu
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 12:28

Perhaps bloviating. Oxford Dictionaries Online defines bloviate as

Talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way.

Or maybe grandiloquent

Pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, especially in a way that is intended to impress


  • +1, though I've heard more often magniloquent.
    – moonwave99
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 5:46


This is a humorous and ironic word that literally derives from the Latin for "a foot and a half long" and refers to the use of long words, but could also apply to other instances of hot air.

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    Strictly speaking, sesquipedalian means long words, which may or may not be what the questioner meant (his use of the word "big" was ambiguous). If "big" means "long" then you would be right, but if a "big vocabulary" means a lot of fancy, but not necessarily long words, the loquacious might be a better description. Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 10:36

You can say that the book is too arcane for your tastes. This does not denote "big vocabulary", but it strongly implies it, because arcane subjects are discussed using esoteric words.

You can also say that the book is too technical for your tastes. This also implies "big vocabulary", because discussion of specialized subjects requires the creation and use of exotic concepts, concepts which are not a part of your vocabulary due to lack of technical knowledge.


Maybe 'erudite' or 'technical' (but those words could refer to the subject matter and/or to the intended audience, a well as or instead of to the vocabulary).

Or 'advanced' (e.g. "this is an easy book to read but that one is more advanced").

A good word is 'readable': measures of a book's "readability" usually concentrate on the book's vocabulary.


Verbose. which means "Expressed in more words than are necessary" would probably fit the bill. You could also say that the Vocabulary of the book is Voluble.


Pedantic. "Pedant: One who makes a display of learning either in ostentation, or in unduly emphasizing minutiae." Webster's New Collegiate.

  • A book that uses a large variety of expression need not be (intentionally) pedantic; it could merely make full use of the language to describe complex matters.
    – n.st
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 1:35

I like the suggestion of grandiloquent. Another term that you could use is magniloquent. Magniloquent sounds appropriate for you definition as the prefix magni represents something big (too big).


Prob'ly, the street language used is bombastic vocab.

It's time we coined an intellectual-sounding term for it:

Magniverbum = Latin for big word.

Magniverba would be the Latin for "big words".

Perhaps, magniverbacious is a good word to use. But you would be the 2nd person to use it, after I. After I have just used it.

Magniverbacious would connote tendency towards having lots of big words.

Magniverbaceous would connote tendency towards consuming lots of big words.



  1. Difficult to understand because of complexity or obscurity: a dense novel.

It is certainly true that a very large vocabulary makes for complexity for the average reader.


"Big vocabularies" is a slightly ambiguous term, as it could mean a vocabulary comprised of big words, in which case sesquipedalian would be appropriate (as already suggested). However if you mean a big selection of words, which presumably includes a lot of obscure ones, then loquacious would probably be a better choice.


To express pure size of a vocabulary, words like extensive or massive fit well here. In particular, I frequently see extensive used to describe a large, virtually-complete collection - vocabulary, being a collection of words, is no exception.

If you're trying to express that a book's vocabulary is bigger than it ought to be, consider words like excessive, oversized, or even grandiose.

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