Po·​lo·​ni·​us pə-ˈlō-nē-əs How to pronounce Polonius (audio)
: a garrulous courtier and father of Ophelia and Laertes in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Sententious Polonius is now a church lady, Rabby (Benja Kay Thomas); her children are Opal (Adrianna Mitchell) and Larry (Calvin Leon Smith) instead of Ophelia and Laertes. Jesse Green, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2023 The cast is uniformly great, particularly Nikki Crawford's electric Tedra and Benja Kay Thomas' Rabby, a liquor-loving woman of God who's a stand-in for the much less-fun Polonius. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 13 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Polonius.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1601, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Polonius was circa 1601

Dictionary Entries Near Polonius

Cite this Entry

“Polonius.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Polonius. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!