Meaning of pons asinorum in English:

pons asinorum

Pronunciation /ˌasɪˈnɔːrəm/

See synonyms for pons asinorum


  • The point at which many learners fail, especially a theory or formula that is difficult to grasp.

    ‘After he had mastered the fifth proposition as easily as its predecessors, Frank told him that people generally found it difficult - it is the famous pons asinorum which puts a stop to many a budding geometrical career.’
    • ‘It is the pons asinorum of the relationship between economics and politics.’
    • ‘We used to read the first book of Euclid as far as pons asinorum; but regularly as we reached the dreadful pass we were turned back for a revisal.’


Mid 18th century Latin, literally ‘bridge of asses’, term taken from the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid.