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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Ay," answered the Governor, lifting his head from the hand he had kissed with ponderous gallantry.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
  • Andy could see now that it was a roadster, low-hung, ponderous, to keep the road.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Their ponderous weapons allowed of little fencing and parrying, and inflicted wounds which were almost invariably mortal.

  • The man who faced the redhead was as light as his companion was ponderous.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • But over both the great monsters passed, treading them to pulp under the ponderous feet.

    The Jungle Girl Gordon Casserly
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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