- Pon·tius [pon-shuh s, -tee-uh s] /ˈpɒn ʃəs, -ti əs/, flourished early 1st century a.d., Roman procurator of Judea a.d. 26–36?: the final authority concerned in the condemnation and execution of Jesus Christ.
- Pontius (ˈpɒnʃəs, ˈpɒntɪəs). Roman procurator of Judaea (?26–?36 ad), who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus, allegedly against his better judgment
n.c.1400 as a term of reproach, from the Roman surname, especially that of Pontius, a governor of Judaea, from Latin Pilatus, literally “armed with javelins,” from pilum “javelin” (see pile (n.2)). Among slang and cant uses of Pontius Pilate mentioned in the 1811 “Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence” is “(Cambridge) a Mr. Shepherd of Trinity College; who disputing with a brother parson on the comparative rapidity with which they read the liturgy, offered to give him as far as Pontius Pilate in the Belief.”