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The curious world of words

English is the richest of the world’s 3,000 languages. The new Oxford Dictionary in 2 volumes lists 75,00,000 words. This dictionary was first published in 1933. Nearly about 2,00,000 words are in current use.

The longest words in English

Honorificabilitudinitatibus

This word found in the Chambers Dictionary has 27 letters. It occurs in Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labour’s Lost and means ‘with honourableness.’

Antidisestablishmentarianism

This word has 28 letters. It means ‘the act of opposing the separation of church and state.’

Floccinaucinihilipilification

This word found in the Chambers and Oxford English Dictionaries has 29 letters. It means ‘the action or habit of estimating something as worthless.’

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Found in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th edition and in Chambers Dictionary this word has 45 letters. It is a pneumoconiosis caused by the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust.

The most frequently used words in Written English

  1. The
  2. Of
  3. And
  4. A
  5. To
  6. In
  7. Is
  8. You
  9. That
  10. It
  11. He
  12. For
(Source: American Heritage Word Frequency Book)

A reasonably common word which contains all five vowels each used once, and in their alphabetical order --Facetious

A seven-letter word which doesn’t use any of the five vowels--Rhythms

A word with more than 15 letters in which the only vowel is ‘e’--Strengthlessness

 

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