The first set of long words includes the ones that are officially accepted in the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary (DRAE). But there are even longer words in Spanish that haven’t reached the DRAE. Some of them have more letters than the actual Spanish alphabet, up to 30 letters!
The longest words in Spanish are compound words and mostly related to medicine or science. So don’t panic, they are rarely used.
The Longest Word in Spanish Accepted in DRAE
Here is the longest word in Spanish, with close runners-up, that can be found in the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary (DRAE).
1. Electroencefalografista (23 letters)
An individual specialized in electroencephalography.
2. Esternocleidomastoideo (22 letters)
This is the word for the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) in the neck involved in flexion and rotation of the head.
3. Electroencefalografía (21 letters)
Electroencephalography in English, the part of medicine that studies the production and interpretation of electroencephalograms or the recording of electrical activity along the scalp.
4. Electroencefalograma (20 letters)
Electroencephalogram in English.
5. Otorrinolaringólogo (19 letters)
This is the word in Spanish for an ear, nose, and throat doctor or ENT. Read Jared’s post Which is the Hardest Spanish Language Word for You to Pronounce? about this particular word.
The Longest Words in Spanish Not Accepted in DRAE
There are even longer words in Spanish that aren’t in the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary (DRAE). Some of these words are even harder to pronounce and have more letters than the Spanish alphabet (the first is the longest word in spanish!
6. Ciclopentanoperhidrofenantreno (30 letters)
This word has short equivalents in Spanish: esterano or gonano. In English it is cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene or sterane, a molecule.
7. Polioencefalomeningomielitis (28 letters)
It is an inflammation of the gray matter of the brain and the spinal cord, caused by infection by a polio virus.
8. Electroencefalográficamente (27 letters)
It is an adverb form related to the word electroencefalografía or electroencephalographically (see word #3 above).
9. Contrarrevolucionariamente (26 letters)
Another compound word that gets more syllables by adding the suffix –mente. It comes from the word contrarrevolución or counterrevolution.
10. Auriculoventriculostomía (24 letters)
Auriculoventriculostomy in English and is a surgical procedure.
As a native Spanish speaker, the hardest words for me to pronounce were ciclopentanoperhidrofenantreno and polioencefalomeningomielitis. Watch the following video where I recorded myself pronouncing these words. Let me know if you notice me struggling with these two particular ones.
Mobile viewers: watch this video here http://youtu.be/My5OOuEw7IM
Check out these other articles about the Spanish Language.