One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A weight. Now chiefly figurative: a power to influence or bias, a moral force.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Tobias Whitaker (bap. 1596, d. 1664), physician. From classical Latin pondus weight, a weight, importance, influence, gravity, solemnity, stability, steadfastness from an ablaut variant ( o -grade) of the stem of pendere to weigh, consider.
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