Simple Definition of penchant
: a strong liking for something or a strong tendency to behave in a certain way
Full Definition of penchant
: a strong and continued inclination; broadly : liking
Examples of penchant in a sentence
Aside from the Catholic penchant for fish on Fridays, there is also the tradition of eating red beans and rice on Monday … —Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005
Whether manifested in feminine decor or in an approach to teaching that assumes a female penchant for cooperative, or “connected,” learning, stereotypical notions of femininity often infect institutions for women and girls. —Wendy Kaminer, Atlantic, April 1998
From both her father and mother she had inherited a penchant for art, literature, philosophy, and music. Already at eighteen she was dreaming of painting, singing, writing poetry, writing books, acting—anything and everything. —Theodore Dreiser, The Titan, 1914
<a penchant for sitting by the window and staring moodily off into space>
Did You Know?
Like its synonyms "leaning," "propensity," and "proclivity," "penchant" implies a strong instinct or liking for something. But these four words, while similar, are also distinguished by subtle differences. "Leaning" usually suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable ("a student with artistic leanings"), whereas "propensity" tends to imply a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination ("a propensity to offer advice"). "Proclivity" frequently suggests a strong, natural proneness to something objectionable or evil ("a proclivity for violence"). "Penchant," a descendant of Latin pendere ("to weigh"), typically implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object ("a penchant for taking risks").
Origin of penchant
French, from present participle of pencher to incline, from Vulgar Latin *pendicare, from Latin pendere to weigh
First Known Use: 1672
Synonym Discussion of penchant
Rhymes with penchant
Seen and Heard
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