Meaning of LONG in English


/ lɒŋ; NAmE lɔːŋ/ adjective , adverb , verb

■ adjective

( long·er / ˈlɒŋgə(r); NAmE ˈlɔːŋ-/ long·est / ˈlɒŋgɪst; NAmE ˈlɔːŋ-/)



measuring or covering a great length or distance, or a greater length or distance than usual :

She had long dark hair.

He walked down the long corridor.

It was the world's longest bridge.

a long journey / walk / drive / flight

We're a long way from anywhere here.

It's a long way away .

OPP short


used for asking or talking about particular lengths or distances :

How long is the River Nile?

The table is six feet long.

The report is only three pages long.



lasting or taking a great amount of time or more time than usual :

He's been ill (for) a long time .

There was a long silence before she spoke.

I like it now the days are getting longer (= it stays light for more time each day) .

a long book / film / list (= taking a lot of time to read / watch / deal with)

Nurses have to work long hours (= for more hours in the day than is usual) .

( NAmE )

He stared at them for the longest time (= for a very long time) before answering.

OPP short


used for asking or talking about particular periods of time :

How long is the course?

I think it's only three weeks long.

How long a stay did you have in mind?


seeming to last or take more time than it really does because, for example, you are very busy or not happy :

I'm tired. It's been a long day.

We were married for ten long years.

OPP short



covering all or most of your legs or arms :

She usually wears long skirts.

a long-sleeved shirt



( phonetics ) taking more time to make than a short vowel sound in the same position

OPP short

—see also length


- as long as your arm

- at long last

- at the longest

- by a long way

- go back a long way

- go a long way

- have come a long way

- have a long way to go

- how long is a piece of string?

- in the long run

- it's a long story.

- the long arm of sth

- the long and (the) short of it

- (pull, wear, etc.) a long face

- long in the tooth

- long on sth

- a long shot

- long time no see

- not by a long chalk

- take a long (cool / hard) look at sth

- take the long view (of sth)

- to cut a long story short

—more at broad adjective , term noun , way noun

■ adverb ( long·er /ˈlɒŋgə(r); NAmE ˈlɔːŋ-/, long·est /ˈlɒŋgɪst; NAmE ˈlɔːŋ-/)


for a long time :

Have you been here long?

Stay as long as you like.

The party went on long into the night.

This may take longer than we thought.

I won't be long (= I'll return, be ready, etc. soon) .

How long have you been waiting?

These reforms are long overdue.


a long time before or after a particular time or event :

He retired long before the war.

It wasn't long before she had persuaded him (= it only took a short time) .

We'll be home before long (= soon) .

The house was pulled down long ago .

They had long since (= a long time before the present time) moved away.


used after a noun to emphasize that sth happens for the whole of a particular period of time :

We had to wait all day long .

The baby was crying all night long .

They stayed up the whole night long .


- as / so long as

- for (so) long

- how long have you got?

- long live sb/sth

- no / any longer

- so long

—more at laugh verb

■ verb

long for sb/sth | long (for sb) to do sth to want sth very much especially if it does not seem likely to happen soon

SYN yearn :

[ v ]

Lucy had always longed for a brother.

He longed for Pat to phone.

[ v to inf ]

I'm longing to see you again.

—see also longed-for



(for) long / (for) a long time

Both (for) long and (for) a long time are used as expressions of time. In positive sentences (for) a long time is used:

We've been friends a long time.

(For) long is not used in positive sentences unless it is used with too , enough , as , so , seldom , etc.:

I stayed out in the sun for too long.

You've been waiting long enough.

Both (for) long and (for) a long time can be used in questions, but (for) long is usually preferred:

Have you been waiting long?

In negative sentences (for) a long time sometimes has a different meaning from (for) long : Compare:

I haven't been here for a long time (= It is a long time since the last time I was here)


I haven't been here long (= I arrived here only a short time ago)




adjective and adverb noun Old English lang , long (adjective), lange , longe (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German lang .

verb Old English langian grow long, prolong , also dwell in thought, yearn , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch langen present, offer and German langen reach, extend.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.