See more synonyms for avoirdupois on Thesaurus.com

Origin of avoirdupois

1250–1300; Middle English avoir de pois literally, property of weight < Old French, equivalent to avoir (earlier aveir < Latin habēre to have) + de (< Latin ) + pois (earlier peis < Latin pēnsum)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for avoirdupois

weight, fat, bulk, ponderosity, fatness, heft, bulkiness, weightiness, hugeness

Examples from the Web for avoirdupois

Contemporary Examples of avoirdupois

  • Its owner seems to take as much pride in her bones as the big girls of Rubens could take in their avoirdupois.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Skin, Bones and Beauty

    Blake Gopnik

    August 15, 2012

Historical Examples of avoirdupois

  • A single pair has been known to weigh as much as 60 pounds avoirdupois!

  • With the avoirdupois of Miss Jolliboy, life would appear a desert.


    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Estimate the value of Westminster Abbey in the Avoirdupois measure.


    Arthur Machen

  • Coal is measured by the ton of two thousand pounds avoirdupois.

  • So, as there is no virtue in avoirdupois, there is no ‘greatness’ in mere numbers.

British Dictionary definitions for avoirdupois


avoirdupois weight

  1. a system of weights used in many English-speaking countries. It is based on the pound, which contains 16 ounces or 7000 grains. 100 pounds (US) or 112 pounds (Brit) is equal to 1 hundredweight and 20 hundredweights equals 1 tonAbbreviation: avdp, avoir

Word Origin for avoirdupois

C14: from Old French aver de peis goods of 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

Word Origin and History for avoirdupois

1650s, misspelling of Middle English avoir-de-peise (c.1300), from Old French avoir de pois "goods of weight," from aveir "property, goods" (noun use of aveir "have") + peis "weight," from Latin pensum, neuter of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant (n.)). After late 15c., the standard system of weights used in England for all goods except precious metals, precious stones, and medicine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

avoirdupois in Medicine


  1. Avoirdupois weight.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.