Definitions

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

  • n. A problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See Asses' bridge, under Ass.

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

  • n. a problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person

Etymologies

New Latin pōns asinōrum, bridge of fools (nickname of the Fifth Proposition in the Elements of Euclid, due to its difficulty) : Latin pōns, bridge + Latin asinōrum, genitive pl. of asinus, ass, fool.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Pons Asinorum (Latin for "Bridge of Asses") is the name given to Euclid's fifth proposition in Book 1 of his Elements of geometry:

    In isosceles triangles the angles at the base equal one another, and, if the equal straight lines are produced further, then the angles under the base equal one another.

    October 24, 2007