talk at length

hhtt21

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1."She talked at length."

Does this sentence mean her talk lasted long or it was comprehensive which need not to be long? Which of the following sentences are identical with the original?

2. "She talked lengthily."

3. "She talked comprehensively."

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jutfrank

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I would say that the meaning is a combination of both for a long time and in depth. The reason why someone takes a long time to talk is because they are covering a lot of content.
 

hhtt21

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#3 is the closer one.
The phrase "at length" means in detail.

Take a look at explanation #1 in the link below.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/at_length
Sorry for adding my link. It was Wordweb and example was from there. Wordweb assumes lengthily and at length synonyms. Then I looked Merriam and the synonyms were comprehensively. Now I am somehow confussed because Merriam and Oxford are British sources but Wordweb is American. So does this can be a difference between American E. and British E.?

http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=at+length

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/at length

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jutfrank

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For the record, Merriam-Webster is not British, it's American.
 

hhtt21

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Is WordWeb wrong for this word?

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hhtt21

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'At length' can mean 'after a long time, just as the definition tells us.
Then after a long time=lenghtily=at length?
These are not mean in detail/fully

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hhtt21

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emsr2d2

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It is a way of saying "Please note ...". It comes from terminology used in meetings where minutes are taken. Some things can be said "off the record" (what is said is not written down) but starting with "For the record" means "I want this to be noted".
 

andrewg927

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I understand from your first no and the link https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/at_length that after a long time=at length, but lengthily is quite different from them and I think it is rare word.

Thanks

"Lengthy" is a very common word but I don't hear "lengthily" too often. Possibly because it is lengthy to even say it. To answer your question, I consider "she talked at length" and "she talked lengthily" quite the same. The only difference is lengthily has a little negative connotation. It is more like the speech is long and boring.
 
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