noun pen·du·lum \-ləm\

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

Full Definition of PENDULUM

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

Origin of PENDULUM

New Latin, from Latin, neuter of pendulus
First Known Use: 1660

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

centrifuge, differential, flange, lathe, linchpin, pinion, plenum, ratchet, traction
PENDULUM Defined for Kids


noun pen·du·lum \ˈpen-jə-ləm, -dyə-\

Definition of PENDULUM for Kids

:  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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