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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ponderously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Old Mears ponderously started the ball; but no one could keep it rolling.

    Mrs. Thompson William Babington Maxwell
  • It was Mr. Gassett ponderously climbing the steps of the terrace.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
  • With lowered forehead, without looking up, swiftly and ponderously he crossed the room to one of the French windows.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • “And that was what I was really waiting for,” the slow voice went on ponderously.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • "Then that Dutch horn-player threw the bomb," propounded the head of the "Detective Bureau" ponderously.

    Average Jones Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • "You have accurately diagnosed the situation," said Milburgh ponderously.

    The Daffodil Mystery Edgar Wallace
  • At the last of the blue flashes there was a whirring of hidden mechanism and the portal swung slowly and ponderously open.

  • His great head was moving sullenly, ponderously, from side to side.

    Neighbors Unknown Charles G. D. Roberts
  • While he watched, it began turning slowly, ponderously, and started sinking into the meteor.

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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