Definition of ponderous
1 : of very great weight
2 : unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size
3 : oppressively or unpleasantly dull : lifeless ponderous prose
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Examples of ponderous in a Sentence
students struggling to stay awake during a ponderous lecture
fell asleep during the ponderous speech
Recent Examples of ponderous from the Web
Miraculously, these five explore grief without getting ponderous or even, actually, depressing.
Too many early mornings and late nights, too much bread and wine, too many ponderous political allegories—in the films and in real life, all the Croisette’s opulence alarmingly guarded by policemen carrying machine guns.
Sense8 Is Auteur Television That’s Actually Fun—David Sims argues that Season 2 of the indulgent Netflix series stands out amid all the dark, ponderous dramas.
And though some of the existing Netflix shows about these heroes have been dark and ponderous, the four seem to be having a lot more fun in this more light-hearted trailer.
Korvette resists the ponderous sincerity that often comes with putting away childish things.
Although less ponderous than most of Webber’s works, the score is dizzyingly busy at times, and the small orchestra under the direction of Sierra Dee does a fine job navigating it.
The original has a groove that’s seeping verging on ponderous.
And what turns them off is exactly what makes this artist an academic darling, a knot of riddles to be untied, retied and untied again, which is what much of the ponderous catalog is about.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ponderous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Serious History of ponderous
Ponderous is ultimately from the Latin word for "weight," namely, "pondus" (which also gave us "ponder" and "preponderance" and is related to "pound"). We adopted "ponderous" with the literal sense "heavy" from Anglo-French ponderus in the 15th century, and early on we appended a figurative sense of "weighty," that is, "serious" or "important." But we stopped using the "serious" sense of "ponderous" around 200 years ago - perhaps because in the meantime we'd imposed on it a different figurative sense of "dull and lifeless," which we still use today.
Origin and Etymology of ponderous
Middle English, from Anglo-French ponderus, from Latin ponderosus, from ponder-, pondus weight
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of ponderous
PONDEROUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ponderous for English Language Learners
: very boring or dull
: slow or awkward because of weight and size
PONDEROUS Defined for Kids
Definition of ponderous for Students
1 : very heavy a ponderous stone
2 : slow or clumsy because of weight and size The elephant moved with ponderous steps.
3 : unpleasantly dull a ponderous speech
Seen and Heard
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