9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pon-der-uh s] /ˈpɒn dər əs/
of great weight; heavy; massive.
awkward or unwieldy:
He carried a ponderous burden on his back.
dull and labored:
a ponderous dissertation.
Origin of ponderous
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French ponderos, pondereuse) < Latin ponderōsus. See ponder, -ous
Related forms
ponderously, adverb
ponderousness, ponderosity
[pon-duh-ros-i-tee] /ˌpɒn dəˈrɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonponderosity, noun
nonponderous, adjective
nonponderously, adverb
nonponderousness, noun
overponderous, adjective
overponderously, adverb
overponderousness, noun
unponderous, adjective
unponderously, adverb
unponderousness, noun
3. heavy, boring, dreary, plodding, tedious.
3. lively, exciting. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ponderous
  • Most academic writing is heavy and ponderous and over-explains.
  • This ponderous speech never saw the light of day.
  • The ponderous narrative lacks so much focus that it will likely leave most viewers squirming in their seats.
  • It is too slow-moving and ponderous.
  • The ponderous bureaucracy of officialdom dismayed the soap companies.
  • More ponderous brain games break up the action from time to time.
  • Men had confined their literary interests to the library and, as a consequence, their style was either ponderous or precious.
  • Although his size made him seem as ponderous as a water buffalo, Liston was in fact faster than the sparring partner.
  • His dialogue can be ponderous, too, and his characterizations thin.
  • The women in late Degas are mostly silent, rapt in their solitude and dragged down by a ponderous physicality.
British Dictionary definitions for ponderous


of great weight; heavy; huge
(esp of movement) lacking ease or lightness; awkward, lumbering, or graceless
dull or laborious: a ponderous oration
Derived Forms
ponderously, adverb
ponderousness, ponderosity (ˌpɒndəˈrɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin ponderōsus of great weight, from pondus weight
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ponderous

c.1400, "thick;" early 15c., "heavy, weighty, clumsy," from Latin ponderosus "of great weight; full of meaning," from pondus (genitive ponderis) "weight" (see pound (n.1)). Meaning "tedious" is first recorded 1704. Related: Ponderously; ponderousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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