There are 2 main definitions of ponce in English:

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ponce 1

Pronunciation: /pɒns/
British informal


1 derogatory An effeminate man.
Example sentences
  • So everybody knows the British are tea-drinking, snaggle-toothed ponces, and gay to boot.
  • There are no nancy girls, cross-dressers, pansies, butches, flip-flops or ponces.
  • ‘When I hit my teenage years I said ‘acting's for ponces - I want to be a rock star and sing in a band instead’.
2A man who lives off a prostitute’s earnings.
Example sentences
  • So a colleague, faced with sentencing a Living on Immoral Earnings charge, whispered to the Clerk ‘How much do you give a ponce?’
  • Someone called me a ‘art-ponce’- the meaning of ponce is ‘someone who procures customers for whores’ - look it up.


1 [with object] Seek to obtain (something) without paying for it or doing anything in return: I ponced a ciggie off her
More example sentences
  • I did start an Amazon wishlist but I kind of think that's the equivalent of hanging around in bars poncing drinks off strangers.
  • I ponce cigarettes off Davo.
  • I lost interest when The Bride went to ponce a sword off the Sushi Guy.
2 [no object] Live off a prostitute’s earnings: he was arrested for poncing on the girl
More example sentences
  • Vice squads have been disbanded all over the country and pimping (or poncing as it was once known) has proliferated.
  • For Phoenix’s interviewees poncing meant being trapped into prostitution and accepting the idea of prostitution as a trap that could not be escaped.

Phrasal verbs


ponce about/around

British informal Behave in an affected or ineffectual way: I ponced around in front of the mirror
More example sentences
  • Billy is a Mike Tyson-shaped American who runs his class from a gym full of real people - quite unlike the odour-free folk poncing around in front of pastel gazebos that you see in the British videos.
  • The menu was sumptuous and fairly daring (we skipped the ‘calf's snout’ and the ‘jaw with endives’) and the waiters were smarter than the clients, but Spaniards are innately informal so no one was poncing around in cummerbunds and cravats.
  • The last thing we need is another generation of political committees, poncing around the country.

ponce something up

British informal Make overly elaborate and unnecessary changes to something in an attempt to improve it: they would not let the food alone, they had to ponce it up in some way or other
More example sentences
  • NSW's great iconic pubs are all in the bush, the city ones having been long since ponced up.
  • I was expecting it to be all ponced up, but no, the Third World is staging a vigorous comeback.


Late 19th century: perhaps from the verb pounce1.

Words that rhyme with ponce

bonce, ensconce, nonce, response, sconce

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ponce

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There are 2 main definitions of ponce in English:

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Ponce 2

Pronunciation: /ˈpônsā/

Entry from US English dictionary

An industrial port in southern Puerto Rico, on the Caribbean Sea; population 144,500 (est. 2009).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Pon·ce

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