1 adjective
1 OBJECT/LINE measuring a great length or a greater length than usual from one end to the other: Cher used to have really long hair. | The line to get into the movie was so long we gave up. | The Aleutian Islands form the longest archipelago in the world.
-opposite short 1 (1)
2 TIME continuing for a large amount of time: I thought the play was a little too long. | recovering from a long illness | People who exercise regularly generally live longer, healthier lives. | a long time: They've been married a long time. | get longer: The days are beginning to get longer. | for the longest time AmE spoken (=for a very long time): I thought for the longest time that his name was Don, but it's really Ron.
-opposite short 1 (4)
3 DISTANCE continuing or travelling a great distance from one place to another: a long distance runner | long walk/flight/drive: It's a long walk to the shops from here. | a long way: We're still a long way from Aberdeen.
-opposite short 1 (1)
4 HOW LONG (usually after noun) having a particular length or continuing for a particular amount of time: How long is the concert going to be? | an hour/two metres/three pages etc long: The room is about metres long and metres wide. | The article should be about words long.
5 BOOKS/NAMES/LISTS ETC books, lists etc that are long contain a lot of pages, details etc: War and Peace is one of the longest novels I've ever read. | He has a long, unpronounceable last name.
-opposite short 1 (16)
6 CLOTHING long dresses, trousers, sleeves etc cover your body to the ankles or wrists: a long ballgown
7 all day/year/summer etc long during all of the day etc
8 SEEMING TOO LONG spoken seeming to continue for a longer time or distance than is usual, especially because you are bored, tired etc: It's been a long week and all I want to do is go home.
9 WORK if you work long hours or a long day, you work for more time than is usual: Doctors often work long hours.
10 go a long way/have come a long way to be likely to be successful and achieve things, or to have been successful and achieved things: Genetic research has come a long way in the last few years.
11 go a long way towards doing sth to help greatly in achieving something: Your contributions will go a long way towards helping children in need.
12 a little of sth goes a long way spoken used to say you do not need much of something: A little ketchup goes a long way.
13 at long last after a long period of time; finally: The house sold, at long last, in September.
14 long time no see spoken used to say hello when you have not seen someone for a long time
15 the long and the short of it spoken used when you are trying to tell someone something complicated in only a few words: Well, the long and the short of it is that we missed the train.
16 not by a long chalk/shot informal not at all or not nearly: Oh, I've not finished yet - no, not by a long chalk.
17 how long is a piece of string? BrE spoken used when you think there is no certain answer to a question: "How long will it take to finish?" "How long is a piece of string?"
18 a long memory an ability to remember things that happened a long time ago: Those of you with long memories may recall Cooper's fight with Muhammad Ali.
19 VOWEL a long vowel in a word is pronounced for a longer time than a short vowel with the same sound
20 long odds if there are long odds against something happening, it is very unlikely that it will happen
21 long drink
a) a large cold drink, containing little or no alcohol, served in a tall glass
b) if you take a long drink, you drink a large amount of liquid at one time
22 long in the tooth informal too old: Some of our vehicles are getting a bit long in the tooth.
-see also: as long as your arm arm 1 (11), a long face face 1 (2), long/slow haul haul 2 (2), in the long run run 2 (4), a long shot shot 1 (12), it's a long story story (8), cut a long story short story (11), in the long/short/medium term term 1 (10), take the long view (of sth) view 1 (10) 2 adverb
1 for a long time: Have you been waiting long? | It took me longer than I thought it would to paint the kitchen. | How long have you lived in New Jersey?
2 at a time that is a long time before or after a particular time: long before/after: This all happened long before you were born. | long ago/since: If they'd stayed out of the war it would have been over long ago. | sth won't be long especially spoken (=used when something is going to happen soon): Dinner won't be long - only five minutes. | sb won't be long spoken (=used to say that someone will be ready, back etc soon): Wait here, I won't be long. | it wasn't long before (=used when something happens very soon after a particular event): It wasn't long before we realized Dan had left.
3 no longer/not any longer used when something used to happen in the past but does not happen now: The extra workers won't be needed any longer.
4 for long (usually in questions and negatives) for a long time: I haven't known them for very long.
5 before long soon: It looks like it's going to rain before long.
6 as/so long as used to say that one thing can happen or be true only if another thing happens or is true: You can go out to play as long as you stay in the back yard.
7 so long spoken especially AmE goodbye
3 verb (I) to want something very much, especially when it seems unlikely to happen soon: long to do/have sth: I long to see her again. | long for sth: Patsy longed for some excitement, something new. | long for sb to do sth: I was longing for him to go. | longed-for: the birth of a longed-for daughter -see also: longing 1, longing 2 4 the written abbreviation of longitude

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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