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pendulum

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noun pen·du·lum \-ləm\

Simple Definition of pendulum

  • : a stick with a weight at the bottom that swings back and forth inside a clock

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pendulum

  1. 1 :  a body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity and commonly used to regulate movements (as of clockwork)

  2. 2 :  something (as a state of affairs) that alternates between opposites

Origin and Etymology of pendulum

New Latin, from Latin, neuter of pendulus


First Known Use: 1660

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms


PENDULUM Defined for Kids

pendulum

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noun pen·du·lum \ˈpen-jə-ləm, -dyə-\

Definition of pendulum for Students

  1. :  a weight hung from a point so as to swing freely back and forth under the action of gravity



Word Root of pendulum

The Latin word pendere, meaning “to cause to hang down,” gives us the root pend. Words from the Latin pendere have something to do with hanging. To suspend is to cause something to hang down from a single point. To depend is to hang, or rely, on the support of others. A pendant is an ornament that hangs free, as on a necklace. A pendulum is an object hung from a point that swings freely back and forth, as in a clock.



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