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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ponderously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “And that was what I was really waiting for,” the slow voice went on ponderously.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • That was another of his girls, he stated, ponderously and under his breath as usual.

    'Twixt Land & Sea Joseph Conrad
  • John Turner knew him well, and was ponderously silent respecting him.


    Henry Seton Merriman
  • "You have accurately diagnosed the situation," said Milburgh ponderously.

    The Daffodil Mystery

    Edgar Wallace
  • The other man at the table arose, ponderously, and lumbered toward them.

    The Jupiter Weapon Charles Louis Fontenay
  • It was Mr. Gassett ponderously climbing the steps of the terrace.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
  • "I don't go after for to say that," Cullen said ponderously.

    Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
  • "Mr. Sanders is in residence, sir," said Bones, ponderously polite.

  • Some walked slowly, some fast, some ponderously, some buoyantly.

    Delusion and Dream Wilhelm Jensen
British Dictionary definitions for ponderously


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 ponderously



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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