One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Having a large belly.
- ‘His mind is obviously not of the finest fibre, nor his massive and ventripotent person either.’
- ‘The great man, with his cocked hat, his ventripotent waistcoat and spreading coat-tails, looked absurdly foreshortened and distorted, like a figure in a conjuring-glass.’
- ‘After a little, shaggy, ventripotent Pan will grow jealous, and ravish you away from me, as he stole Syrinx from her lover.’
- ‘We see the insect, which was clear−sighted, become blind; it loses its feet, to recover them later; its slender body becomes ventripotent.’
- ‘A battalion of solid metaphysicians, reinforced by a tribe of tittering harridans and three companies of ventripotent buffoons, venture a daring sally.’
- 1.1 Having a large appetite; gluttonous.
greedy, gourmandizing, voracious, insatiable, wolfishView synonyms
- ‘He was a ventripotent Apicius, a real epicure; one who boasted that he never wasted his appetite on a joint.’
- ‘Never was seen such voracity since the days of the ventripotent Heliogabalus.’
- ‘He was one of the most distinguished beer-drinkers in the Schwaben Corps, of which he had been elected, by acclaim, honorary member, after emptying a "Pope" on the challenge of one of the most ventripotent members.’
- ‘The ventripotent vermin were in the midst of their meal, when "our fat friend" awoke.’
- ‘General Savage, an elderly gourmet, a ventripotent Apicins, an epicurian Heliogabalus, very cynical, and awfully churlish, thought that the pill, despite of its gilding, was too bitter to swallow’
Early 17th century: from French, from medieval Latin ventripotent-, from Latin venter ‘belly’ + potent- ‘being powerful, being able’, from the verb posse.
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