Meaning of ponce in English:


Pronunciation /pɒns/

Translate ponce into Spanish


  • 1informal, derogatory A pretentious, affected, or effete man.

    • ‘You know you love prancing around like a ponce with new clothes.’
    • ‘If it was the arts, with 40 ponces playing violins, they would be throwing money at it.’
    • ‘My partner and I spent most of our adult lives in London and, for city ponces like us, gardening equals purchasing an enormous, thick outdoor candle to plonk in a crackle-glaze pot’
    • ‘Why, exactly, is the money that should be helping the underprivileged instead being spent on pandering to the pampered ponces? ’
    • ‘They've updated their menu to cater for ponces.’
    • ‘It was full of entitled little ponces being groomed for the ruling class.’
    • ‘Puffed up ponces with bow ties sit there and pontificate, prevaricate and ultimately do nothing.’
    • ‘Are footballers going to work for once and stop acting like ponces?’
    • ‘The last thing the downtown of any city needs is another fancy restaurant where ponces can eat fancy food.’
    • ‘Service industries are for the elite ponces.’
    coward, weakling, namby-pamby, crybaby, baby
    1. 1.1offensive A gay man.
      coward, weakling, namby-pamby, crybaby, baby
  • 2informal A man who lives off a prostitute's earnings.

    • ‘A colleague, faced with sentencing a Living on Immoral Earnings charge, whispered to the Clerk ‘How much do you give a ponce?’’
    • ‘What do you think I am, a tart trying to find a ponce?’
    • ‘If prostitution is private immorality and not the law's business, what concern has the law with the ponce or the brothel keeper?’
    • ‘In the main the association between prostitute and ponce is voluntary and operates to mutual advantage.’
    • ‘Money may be given to the temporary associate, but the relationship won't be the classic one of prostitute and ponce.’
    procurer, procuress


informal British
  • 1with object Seek to obtain (something) without paying for it or doing anything in return.

    • ‘I ponced a ciggie off her’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But instead I've just been poncing twenties and fifties off friends, relatives and, finally, acquaintances in the oddest of places: a whole range of car parks, the new malls and basically anywhere near a cashpoint machine.’
    • ‘Although I had resolved that morning to give up the poncing lark, by now it was several hours past the midday cocktail hour so I drove to north-west London and ponced a whopping £200 off a TV producer I know called Roy, a lovely bloke.’
    be a pimp, be pimping
  • 2no object Live off a prostitute's earnings.

    • ‘he was arrested for poncing on the girl’
    • ‘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 up
    British informal
    • ponce something up, ponce up somethingMake 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’
      • ‘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.’
    ponce around
    British informal
    • Behave in an affected or ineffectual way.

      • ‘I ponced around in front of the mirror’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So many people there were just poncing around in rubber outfits.’
      • ‘The idea of him poncing around in everything but doublet and hose in John Byrne's acerbic working-class comedy is hilarious and, showman that he is, Gray tells it with much self-deprecating laughter.’
      • ‘They're all poncing around in aprons with their trousers rolled up and their left breasts exposed.’
      • ‘Ranulf's real name - when he's not poncing around in a Viking costume - is Dave Vale.’
      • ‘I have to admit that at first I was very sceptical and cynical about all these movie people poncing around in Cannes.’
      • ‘Strangely the minute the cameras left the room they all stopped poncing around and ate fairly quietly too.’
      • ‘Nothing worse than seeing all those smug Lib Dems poncing around, as if they own the place.’


Late 19th century perhaps from the verb pounce.