c. 1400, "thick;" early 15c., "heavy, weighty, clumsy by reason of weight," from Latin ponderosus "of great weight; full of meaning," from pondus (genitive ponderis) "weight," from stem of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). From late 15c. as "important." Meaning "tedious" is first recorded 1704. Related: Ponderously; ponderousness; ponderosity (1580s in the figurative sense).
"allowable difference between gross and net weight, deduction made from gross weight of goods to account for approximate weight of packaging or container holding them," late 15c., from Anglo-French tare "wastage in goods, deficiency, imperfection" (15c.), from Italian tara, Medieval Latin tara, from Arabic tarah, literally "thing deducted or rejected, that which is thrown away," from taraha "to reject."
ancient Greek small coin and weight, 1660s, from Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, the name of a coin (sixth part of a drachme); identical with obelos "a spit, needle, broach; bar of metal used as a coin or weight" (see obelisk). So called from the original shape. Middle English had obolus as the name of a small measure of weight, also ob "halfpenny," from Latin ob., abbreviation of obolus.
It forms all or part of: alleviate; alleviation; alto-rilievo; carnival; elevate; elevation; elevator; leaven; legerdemain; leprechaun; Levant; levator; levee; lever; levity; levy (v.) "to raise or collect;" light (adj.1) "not heavy, having little weight;" lighter (n.1) "type of barge used in unloading;" lung; relevance; relevant; releve; relief; relieve.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit laghuh "quick, small;" Greek elakhys "small," elaphros "light;" Latin levare "to raise," levis "light in weight, not heavy;" Old Church Slavonic liguku, Russian lëgkij, Polish lekki, Lithuanian lengvas "light in weight;" Old Irish lu "small," laigiu "smaller, worse;" Gothic leihts, Old English leoht "not heavy, light in weight."
[fundamental unit of weight] Old English pund "pound" (in weight or money), also "pint," from Proto-Germanic *punda- "pound" as a measure of weight (source of Gothic pund, Old High German phunt, German Pfund, Middle Dutch pont, Old Frisian and Old Norse pund), an early borrowing from Latin pondo "pound," originally in libra pondo "a pound by weight," from pondo (adv.) "by weight," ablative of pondus "weight," from stem of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Perhaps the notion is the weight of a thing measured by how much it stretches a cord.
Meaning "unit of money" was in Old English, originally "a (Tower) pound of silver."
In the Middle Ages it was reckoned variously: the Tower pound (12 ounces), the merchant's pound (15), the avoirdupois (16), the Troy (12); the 16-ounce pound was established before late 14c. Pound cake (1747) is so called because it has a pound, more or less, of each ingredient. Pound of flesh is from "Merchant of Venice" IV.i. The abbreviations lb., £ are from libra "pound," and reflect the medieval custom of keeping accounts in Latin (see Libra).
A peny yn seson spent wille safe a pounde. [Paston Letters, 1457]