artificial word for a lung disease; longest English word published in a dictionary

Pneumoconiosis is a form of occupational lung disease that is not infective. It is a progressive (gets worse with time) degenerative disorder. It is caused by air pollution in the form of tiny particles. It was common among coal miners, who inhaled coal dust regularly.

Another type of pneumoconiosis is 'asbestosis', caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. A third type is caused by inhaling very small silica particles, called 'silicosis'. All forms of pneuomoconiosis shorten life, and have no cure.


  1. Having worked at an occupation with dust risks
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Chest X-ray may show typical signs

Long nameEdit

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a lung disease caused by the breathing-in of very small particles of sand or quartz dust found in volcanoes. It was first seen in the Oxford English Dictionary, in 1936. It is "an artificial long word",[1] invented by in 1935 by Everett Smith, president of the National Puzzlers' League (N.P.L.), at its annual meeting.[2]

Related pagesEdit


  1. OED
  2. Cole, Chris. (1989.) The biggest hoax. Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, via Retrieved on 2007-10-08.