Definition of ponderous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpänd(ə)rəs/


1Slow and clumsy because of great weight: her footsteps were heavy and ponderous
More example sentences
  • He was too slow, too ponderous; he had a big, heavy punch, but there was nothing spontaneous about him in the ring.
  • ‘A lot of big fighters are slow and ponderous, but I apply myself on my speed as opposed to power,’ he said.
  • I'll box and battle him, and make him look slow and ponderous.
clumsy, heavy, awkward, lumbering, slow, cumbersome, ungainly, graceless, uncoordinated, blundering
informal clodhopping, clunky
1.1Dull, laborious, or excessively solemn: Liz could hardly restrain herself from finishing all his ponderous sentences
More example sentences
  • House of the Spirits was stilted and ponderous and written with a poor command of the nuances of English.
  • Most contemporary Baptists would find a sermon like this ponderous and pedantic.
  • There's no point in comparing the graphic novel Road to Perdition with the respectable though somewhat ponderous movie based on it.
labored, laborious, awkward, clumsy, forced, stilted, unnatural, artificial;
stodgy, lifeless, plodding, pedestrian, boring, dull, tedious, monotonous;
overelaborate, convoluted, windy



Pronunciation: /ˌpändəˈräsətē/
Example sentences
  • The chilling arrogance of technological change will enlighten the modern political climate and austere reverberations of gender identification disorders will punctuate spiritual bombastic ponderosity.
  • TSET is a platitudinous parcel of impenetrable ponderosity, regrettably but manifestly lacking in clarifying conciseness or concatenated cogency; in short, too many big words.


Pronunciation: /ˈpänd(ə)rəslē/
Example sentences
  • And at that very instant something did, then moved slowly, ponderously but very heavily upstream.
  • As I said, the exhibition has set out deliberately, and even ponderously, to enlarge our image of Turkishness and to reveal far more about the history of these varied peoples than concentrating on Ottoman art would have achieved.
  • Instead of sweating underneath monstrous loads, moving as slowly and ponderously as beasts of burden, we cruised the trail like coyotes, heads up, alert, eyes on the horizon.


Pronunciation: /ˈpänd(ə)rəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • The sheer ponderousness of the panel's opinion - the mountain of verbiage it must deploy to explain away these fourteen short words of constitutional text - refutes its thesis far more convincingly than anything I might say.
  • In conveying so much about Adams's goodness, in vivid and smooth prose, McCullough slights Adams's intellectual ambitions, his brilliance and his ponderousness, his pettiness and his sometimes disabling pessimism.
  • Gibson's ponderousness, however, is different, born not from the traditional Hollywood fear of offending religious sensibilities, but rather from the distinctive character of his own commitment.


Late Middle English: via French from Latin ponderosus, from pondus, ponder- 'weight'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pon·der·ous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.