• synonyms


noun, plural pon·tes [pon-teez] /ˈpɒn tiz/. Anatomy.
  1. Also called pons Varolii. a band of nerve fibers in the brain connecting the lobes of the midbrain, medulla, and cerebrum.
  2. any tissue connecting two parts of a body organ or structure.
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Origin of pons

1685–95; < Latin pōns bridge (see punt1)


[ponz; French pawns]
  1. Lil·y [lil-ee; French lee-lee] /ˈlɪl i; French liˈli/, 1904–76, U.S. operatic soprano, born in France.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pons

Historical Examples

  • Balzac gives in his 'Cousin Pons' a vivid delineation of such a person.

    The Book-Hunter in London

    William Roberts

  • The Abbe Pons declared him to be the superior of the marshal of the same name.

    A Book about Doctors

    John Cordy Jeaffreson

  • Pons—that was the clerk's name—went at once to the hotel and saw the Goolds.

    Remarkable Rogues

    Charles Kingston

  • The Signeurs de Pons and de Soubise may also have been present.

  • Pons never gave more than a hundred francs for any purchase.

    Cousin Pons

    Honore de Balzac

British Dictionary definitions for pons


noun plural pontes (ˈpɒntiːz)
  1. a bridge of connecting tissue
  2. short for pons Varolii
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Word Origin

Latin: bridge
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 pons


"bridge," in various Latin expressions, from Latin pons "bridge, connecting gallery, walkway," earlier probably "way, passage," from PIE *pent- "to go, tread" (see find (v.)). Especially pons asinorum "bridge of asses," nickname for the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid, which beginners and slow wits find difficulty in "getting over": if two sides of a triangle are equal, the angles opposite these sides are also equal.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pons in Medicine


n. pl. pon•tes (pŏntēz)
  1. The part of the brainstem that is intermediate between the medulla oblongata and the mesencephalon and is composed of a ventral part and the tegmentum.
  2. A bridgelike formation connecting two disjoined parts of a structure or organ.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pons in Science


Plural pontes (pŏntēz)
  1. A thick band of nerve fibers in the brainstem of humans and other mammals that links the brainstem to the cerebellum and upper portions of the brain. It is important in the reflex control of involuntary processes, including respiration and circulation. All neural information transmitted between the spinal cord and the brain passes through the pons.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.