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pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis (uncountable)

  1. Alternative spelling of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
    • 1953, Charlton Grant Laird, Stability of Shortenings in Cereal and Baked Products[1], page 97:
      Thus, if you discover a spruce and your name is Engelmann, the tree becomes Picea engelmanni, which is only Engelmann’s spruce in Latin; if you discover a nonmetallic element and name it iodine, you have only called it looking like a violet, by giving it a Greek name for the color of its vapor; if you suffer from pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, you may be fatally ill, but your disease is being described in a series of classical syllables.
    • 1956, Lemuel Clyde McGee, Manual of Industrial Medicine[2], page 82:
      b. Pneumoconiosis
       For purely sesquipedalian interest, it should be pointed out here that the longest word said to be found in a recent edition of Webster’s International Dictionary is a term found in industrial medicine. The word is: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.
       The various pneumoconioses are named by the character of the dust which is inhaled. Anthracosis is from coal dust; siderosis from iron dust; chalicosis from stone cutting (calcium); silicosis from dust containing silica; byssinosis from cotton particles, etc.
       In a broad sense the term “pneumoconiosis” means simply “dust in the lungs”. Most pneumoconioses do not result in recognizable disability or disease.
    • 1958, Peter Pleming, My Aunt’s Rhinoceros: And Other Reflections, Simon and Schuster, page 87:
      This time I am going to try to make amends, thus (I hope) avoiding floccinaucinihilipilification.
       This word, which may be strange to some of you, is the longest in the Oxford English Dictionary ; it means “estimating as worthless” and was first used in 1741. I will not pretend that it had been often on my lips before I found it the other day on page seventy-six of The Guinness Book of Records, where it is slightly overshadowed by pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, a technical term for a lung disease which attacks miners.
    • 1970, Apolinar B. Parale, The Case for Pilipino, MCS Enterprises, page 111:
      Speaking of kilometric Filipino words as complained of by both Senator Osias and Mr. Lacuesta, could any term in the national language be more kilometric than the following English terms?
      pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis — which means a form of respiratory disease occurring[sic] specially in miners caused by the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust.
    • 2005, Dawn M. Hudson, Human Anatomy & Physiology[3], Walch Publishing, →ISBN, page 23, →ISBN:
      Did you know that the longest word in the English language (separate from proper nouns) is a science word? It is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. This word has 45 letters. Can you figure out what it means? To figure it out, you can approach it the way you approach any word you don’t know. Take the parts of the word you do know and define them one at a time, finally putting the entire word back together. The first part you see above is pneumono, which should remind you of pneumonia, a disease of the lung. Secondly, you should recognize ultra, which means “very”. Next, you will notice the prefix micro, which means “tiny”. Next is the term scopic, which means “to see”. Then you notice the prefix silico, which is like silicon, the natural earth element from which computer chips are made. The next word is volcano, which you are probably familiar with. The last suffix is koniosis, which refers to a disease caused by dust. By taking all these meanings and putting them together, you will now see “disease of the lung, very, tiny, to see, silicon, volcano, disease caused by dust”. With a little work, you should be able to figure out that this is a lung disease caused from breathing in very tiny silicon dust particles, perhaps from an erupting volcano. In other words, it is similar to black lung, a disease coal miners can have.