What does ponderous mean?

Definitions for ponderous
ˈpɒn dər əspon·der·ous

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ponderous.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. heavy, lumbering, ponderousadjective

    slow and laborious because of weight

    "the heavy tread of tired troops"; "moved with a lumbering sag-bellied trot"; "ponderous prehistoric beasts"; "a ponderous yawn"

  2. ponderousadjective

    having great mass and weight and unwieldiness

    "a ponderous stone"; "a ponderous burden"; "ponderous weapons"

  3. ponderousadjective

    labored and dull

    "a ponderous speech"


  1. ponderousadjective

    Heavy, massive, weighty.

  2. ponderousadjective

    Serious, onerous, oppressive.

  3. ponderousadjective

    Clumsy, unwieldy, or slow, especially due to weight.

  4. ponderousadjective

    Dull, boring, tedious; long-winded in expression.

  5. ponderousadjective

    Characterized by or associated with pondering.

  6. ponderousadjective


  7. Etymology: Ultimately from ponderosus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PONDEROUSadjective

    Etymology: ponderosus, from pondus, Lat.

    It is more difficult to make gold, which is the most ponderous and materiate amongst metals, of other metals less ponderous and materiate, than, via versa, to make silver of lead or quicksilver; both which are more ponderous than silver. Francis Bacon.

    His pond’rous shield behind him cast. John Milton.

    Upon laying a weight in one of the scales, inscribed eternity, though I threw in that of time, prosperity, affliction, wealth and poverty, which seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite balance. Addison.

    Because all the parts of an undistributed fluid are of equal gravity, or gradually placed according to the difference of it, any concretion, that can be supposed to be naturally made in such a fluid, must be all over of a similar gravity, or have the more ponderous parts nearer to its basis. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    If your more ponderous and settl’d project
    May suffer alteration, I’ll point you
    Where you shall have receiving shall become you. William Shakespeare.

    Imagination hath more force upon things living, than things inanimate; and upon light and subtile motions, than upon motions vehement or ponderous. Francis Bacon.

    Impatient of her load,
    And lab’ring underneath the pond’rous god,
    The more she strove to shake him from her breast,
    With far superior force he press’d. Dryden.

    Press’d with the pond’rous blow,
    Down sinks the ship within th’ abyss below. Dryden.


  1. ponderous

    In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force acting on the object due to gravity.Some standard textbooks define weight as a vector quantity, the gravitational force acting on the object. Others define weight as a scalar quantity, the magnitude of the gravitational force. Yet others define it as the magnitude of the reaction force exerted on a body by mechanisms that counteract the effects of gravity: the weight is the quantity that is measured by, for example, a spring scale. Thus, in a state of free fall, the weight would be zero. In this sense of weight, terrestrial objects can be weightless: ignoring air resistance, the famous apple falling from the tree, on its way to meet the ground near Isaac Newton, would be weightless. The unit of measurement for weight is that of force, which in the International System of Units (SI) is the newton. For example, an object with a mass of one kilogram has a weight of about 9.8 newtons on the surface of the Earth, and about one-sixth as much on the Moon. Although weight and mass are scientifically distinct quantities, the terms are often confused with each other in everyday use (e.g. comparing and converting force weight in pounds to mass in kilograms and vice versa).Further complications in elucidating the various concepts of weight have to do with the theory of relativity according to which gravity is modeled as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime. In the teaching community, a considerable debate has existed for over half a century on how to define weight for their students. The current situation is that a multiple set of concepts co-exist and find use in their various contexts.


  1. ponderous

    Ponderous generally refers to something that is heavy, bulky, or unwieldy, whether in a physical or metaphorical sense. It can also mean slow and clumsy due to weight or size, or dull, laborious, or excessively solemn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ponderousadjective

    very heavy; weighty; as, a ponderous shield; a ponderous load; the ponderous elephant

  2. Ponderousadjective

    important; momentous; forcible

  3. Ponderousadjective

    heavy; dull; wanting; lightless or spirit; as, a ponderous style; a ponderous joke

  4. Etymology: [L. ponderosus, from pondus, -eris, a weight: cf. F. pondreux. See Ponder.]

Editors Contribution

  1. ponderous

    Ponderous-meant for serious reading -I guess-certain text are ponderous to some-guess for a general audience-non ponderous texts are ok.

    he was reading the indian text-the brahmasutras which was a ponderous text.he was reading a general knowledge book which was non ponderous.

    Submitted by Lighthouse21 on May 8, 2018  

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How to say ponderous in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ponderous in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ponderous in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of ponderous in a Sentence

  1. This Is Spinal Tap:

    Marty This pretentious ponderous collection of religious rock psalms is enough to prompt the question, What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day too'

  2. R Chamberlain:

    A foolish man in wealth and authority is like a weak-timbered house with a too-ponderous roof.

  3. W, Willard Wirtz:

    Commencement speakers have a good deal in common with grandfather clocks Standing usually some six feet tall, typically ponderous in construction, more traditional than functional, their distinction is largely their noisy communication of essentially commonplace information.

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"ponderous." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ponderous>.

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    the domain ruled by an emperor or empress; the region over which imperial dominion is exercised
    • A. empire
    • B. temptation
    • C. plantation
    • D. value

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