pen·​chant | \ ˈpen-chənt How to pronounce penchant (audio) , especially British ˈpäⁿ-ˌshäⁿ \

Definition of penchant

: a strong and continued inclination broadly : liking

Choose the Right Synonym for penchant

leaning, propensity, proclivity, penchant mean a strong instinct or liking for something. leaning suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable. a student with artistic leanings propensity implies a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination. a propensity to offer advice proclivity suggests a strong natural proneness usually to something objectionable or evil. a proclivity for violence penchant implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object. a penchant for taking risks

What is the Difference Between penchant, leaning, propensity, And proclivity?

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 (meaning "to weigh"), typically implies a strongly marked taste in the person ("a penchant for jazz music") or an irresistible attraction in the object ("a penchant for taking risks").

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
Recent Examples on the Web This week, however, one Twitter user’s attempt to poke fun at a TikTok backfired, heaping praise on an unsuspecting Vegas noise act with a penchant for destroying trash receptacles. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 2022 Americans with a penchant for low rise velour and a discount were sent into a thong frenzy when Old Navy kicked off its legendary $1 sale in 2005. Michella Oré, Vogue, 27 July 2022 Musical purveyors of shlock and awe with a penchant for guitar riffs, social commentary and fake blood, the rock band Gwar was an unlikely cult success story. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 Just how concerned shareholders should be that is a difficult judgement to make with any precision, because Musk is known as a showman with a penchant for embellishment. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 21 July 2022 Estrada was a reliable option as a starting pitcher for Milwaukee for four seasons, albeit one with a penchant for allowing home runs. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 19 July 2022 Biden is, by nature, a storyteller with a penchant for embellishment. Peter Baker,, 17 July 2022 Altogether, a passionate cook with a penchant for reinventing restaurant dishes at home. Lela London, Forbes, 15 July 2022 SealNet is tailored to identify the harbor seal, a species with a penchant for posing on coasts in haulouts. Sean Mowbray, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'penchant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of penchant

1672, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for penchant

French, from present participle of pencher to incline, from Vulgar Latin *pendicare, from Latin pendere to weigh

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The first known use of penchant was in 1672

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Penchant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on penchant

Nglish: Translation of penchant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of penchant for Arabic Speakers


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