pons asinorum

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pons as·i·no·rum

 (pŏnz′ ăs′ə-nôr′əm)
A problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person.

[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.]

pons asinorum

(Mathematics) the geometric proposition that the angles opposite the two equal sides of an isosceles triangle are equal
[Latin: bridge of asses, referring originally to the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid, which was considered difficult for students to learn]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pons asinorum - a problem that severely tests the ability of an inexperienced person
problem - a question raised for consideration or solution; "our homework consisted of ten problems to solve"
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References in periodicals archive ?
The weakest reason for optimism is that selecting good justices--meaning justices who consistently fulfill the hopes of the president who nominated them--has proven a pons asinorum for even the best presidents.
This is the pons asinorum for readers of pop-math expositions.
Another bird that has a name list of mistle-thrush proportions is the contrastingly inconspicuous hedge-sparrow (thirty-five plus), alias blue Isaac and haysucker, that pons asinorum of the ornithologically correct, who call it a dunnock because it's a thin-billed insect-eating accentor (Prunella modularis) and not a sparrow at all.