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

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French ponderos, pondereuse) < Latin ponderōsus. See ponder, -ous
Related formspon·der·ous·ly, adverbpon·der·ous·ness, pon·der·os·i·ty [pon-duh-ros-i-tee] /ˌpɒn dəˈrɒs ɪ ti/, nounnon·pon·der·os·i·ty, nounnon·pon·der·ous, adjectivenon·pon·der·ous·ly, adverbnon·pon·der·ous·ness, nouno·ver·pon·der·ous, adjectiveo·ver·pon·der·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·pon·der·ous·ness, nounun·pon·der·ous, adjectiveun·pon·der·ous·ly, adverbun·pon·der·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for ponderous

3. heavy, boring, dreary, plodding, tedious.

Antonyms for ponderous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ponderous

Contemporary Examples of ponderous

Historical Examples of ponderous

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

  • Andy could see now that it was a roadster, low-hung, ponderous, to keep the road.

  • For he was ponderous, spiritually and mentally, as well as materially.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • They made way for the man and his ponderous keys, and entrance to the college was gained.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Princes of the blood royal had sat in the ponderous carved oak-chairs.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for ponderous



of great weight; heavy; huge
(esp of movement) lacking ease or lightness; awkward, lumbering, or graceless
dull or laboriousa ponderous oration
Derived Formsponderously, adverbponderousness or ponderosity (ˌpɒndəˈrɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for ponderous

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

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