Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having great weight.
  • adj. Unwieldy from weight or bulk.
  • adj. Lacking grace or fluency; labored and dull: a ponderous speech. See Synonyms at heavy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Heavy, massive, weighty.
  • adj. Serious, onerous, oppressive.
  • adj. Clumsy, unwieldy, or slow, especially due to weight.
  • adj. Dull, boring, tedious; long-winded in expression.
  • adj. Characterized by or associated with pondering.
  • adj. Dense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Very heavy; weighty
  • adj. Important; momentous; forcible.
  • adj. Heavy; dull; wanting; lightless or spirit

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having weight; weighty; heavy; especially, very heavy; hence, clumsy or unwieldy by reason of weight: used both literally and figuratively.
  • Weighty; important; momentous.
  • Disposed to ponder; thinking; thoughtful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having great mass and weight and unwieldiness
  • adj. labored and dull
  • adj. slow and laborious because of weight

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French pondereux, from Latin ponderōsus, from pondus, ponder-, weight; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ultimately from Latin ponderōsus ("weighty"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Their thirty and forty - thousand-ton battleships slowed down half a dozen miles offshore and maneuvered in ponderous evolutions, while tiny scout-boats (lean, six-funneled destroyers) ran in, cutting blackly the flashing sea like so many sharks.

    Goliah

  • Their thirty - and forty-thousand-ton battleships slowed down half a dozen miles off-shore and manœuvred in ponderous evolutions; while tiny scout-boats (lean, six-funnelled destroyers) ran in, cutting blackly the flashing sea like so many sharks.

    Goliah

  • – The days of chivalry are no more: the knight no longer sallies forth in ponderous armour, mounted upon a steed as invulnerable as himself.

    Letters for Literary Ladies: To Which is Added, An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification

  • "I surely hope the slave is within it," called the ponderous fellow to the audience, "as I do wish to recover her!"

    Magicians of Gor

  • He apparently took keen pleasure in holding up to ridicule and in satirising, what he was pleased to call his ponderous pedantries, his solemn affectation of profundity and wisdom, his narrow-mindedness, and his intolerable and transparent egotism.

    A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3

  • His speech was slow and his manner might almost be called ponderous, but the advisers who whispered over his shoulder, during the course of the debate, attested the rapidity with which his mind operates and his skill in catching the points suggested.

    Woodrow Wilson and the World War A Chronicle of Our Own Times.

  • Vargas by name, having broken his sword in battle, tore from an oak a ponderous bough or branch, and with it did such things that day, and pounded so many Moors, that he got the surname of Machuca, and he and his descendants from that day forth were called Vargas y Machuca.

    Don Quixote

  • They're all very slow and ponderous, which is odd as everyone says its an upbeat happy album.

    Word Magazine -

  • It felt as though there were just too many sequences of Scrooge flying around, punctuated by kind of ponderous, talky scenes to give plot points.

    Proof Of God: Disney Closes Zemeckis Digital Mannequin Studio | Obsessed With Film

  • There was something kind of ponderous about the plot; things happened but I never felt that the characters were really yearning to make them happen.

    Paris Hilton Responds To McCain's Ad

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