• synonyms


  1. a body of water smaller than a lake, sometimes artificially formed, as by damming a stream.
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verb (used without object)
  1. (especially of water) to collect into a pond or large puddle: to prevent rainwater from ponding on the roof.
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Origin of pond

1250–1300; Middle English ponde, pande, akin to Old English pynding dam, gepyndan to impound. See pound3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ponding

Historical Examples

  • The idea of ponding up the superfluous flood discharge of the river is not a new one, and if Herodotus is to be believed, Storage.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 7


  • One thing he loved was ponding, which began as soon as the days were warm enough.

  • And great barricades of ice still in the rivers blocking them up, and ponding them.

    Lorna Doone

    R. D. Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for ponding


    1. a pool of still water, often artificially created
    2. (in combination)a fishpond
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Word Origin

C13 ponde enclosure; related to pound ³
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 ponding



c.1300 (mid-13c. in compounds), "artificially banked body of water," variant of pound "enclosed place" (see pound (n.2)). Applied locally to natural pools and small lakes from late 15c. Jocular reference to "the Atlantic Ocean" dates from 1640s. Pond scum (Spirogyra) is from 1864 (also called frog-spittle and brook-silk. As figurative for "someone extremely repulsive," from 1984.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ponding in Science


  1. An inland body of standing water that is smaller than a lake. Natural ponds form in small depressions and are usually shallow enough to support rooted vegetation across most or all of their areas.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with ponding


see big fish in a small pond; little frog in a big pond.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.