American English

Definition of long adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , longest
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  1. 1for 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.
  2. 2a 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.
  3. 3used after a noun to emphasize that something 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.
  4. Which Word?(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 (for) 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 for 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)andI haven’t been here long (= I arrived here only a short time ago).Word Familylong adjective adverblength nounlengthy adjectivelengthen verblong adjective adverblength nounlengthy adjectivelengthen verbIdioms
      as/so long as
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    1. 1only if We'll go as long as the weather is good.
    2. 2since; to the extent that So long as there is a demand for these drugs, the financial incentive for drug dealers will be there.
    for (so) long
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    for (such) a long time Will you be away for long? I'm sorry I haven't written to you for so long.
    how long do you have? (informal)
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    used to say that something is going to take a long time to explain What do I think about it? How long do you have?
    long live somebody/something
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    used to say that you hope someone or something will live or last for a long time
    no/any longer
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    used to say that something which was possible or true before, is not now I can't wait any longer. He no longer lives here.
    so long (informal)
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See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: long