penchant

noun
pen·​chant | \ˈpen-chənt, especially British ˈpäⁿ-ˌshäⁿ\

Definition of penchant 

: a strong and continued inclination broadly : liking

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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 ("to weigh"), typically implies a strongly marked taste in the person 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many players of his size and profile—5-foot-8 with a penchant for dribbling in busy areas—would be considered too slight and self-indulgent for the Premier League. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Premier League Was Supposed to be a Two-Team Race. But Chelsea Keeps Hanging Around.," 19 Oct. 2018 Wine lovers with a penchant for history should then take the 15-minute drive to Georgia’s winemaking mecca, Alaverdi Monastery, which just celebrated its 1,017th—no, that’s not a typo—vintage. Benjamin Kemper, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Guide to Georgian Wine Country," 5 Sep. 2018 The press has always had a penchant for sensationalism; now that’s raging at the intersection of politics and entertainment, where fans of scandalous news can’t get enough of the addictive stuff. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Front Runner’ Review: All the News That’s Unfit," 8 Nov. 2018 While her fashion choices might best be described as sensible, Princess Anne does have a penchant for bold sunglasses. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Princess Anne Wore Emerald Green to Her Niece Princess Eugenie's Wedding to Jack Brooksbank," 12 Oct. 2018 For inspiration, Kors and hairstylist Orlando Pita poured over ‘60s and ‘70s icons that had a penchant for making a striking head wrap their pièce de résistance. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At Michael Kors, Breezy Sun-and-Surf Head Scarves Are a Runway Win," 12 Sep. 2018 Joe, who had a penchant for game nights, roped me into board games by teaching me the classic gateway game Catan. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "How a CEO fiddled while beloved board game Glory to Rome crashed and burned," 8 Sep. 2018 The green, wood-sided wagon was sent across the block at the Mecum Monterey auction by collector Peter Escovedo, who has a penchant for unusual mundane American cars and purchased it himself about eight years ago. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "What may be the world's most expensive Ford Pinto sold for $33,000," 24 Aug. 2018 Holmes said Russell had a penchant for writing, and would sometimes ask her for short-story writing prompts. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Man who took Horizon Air plane from Sea-Tac Airport was quiet, well liked, says former co-worker," 11 Aug. 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near penchant

Pence

pencel

penceless

penchant

penché

pencil

pencil and pearl

Statistics for penchant

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for penchant

The first known use of penchant was in 1672

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More Definitions for penchant

penchant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of penchant

: a strong liking for something or a strong tendency to behave in a certain way

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More from Merriam-Webster on penchant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with penchant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for penchant

Spanish Central: Translation of penchant

Nglish: Translation of penchant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of penchant for Arabic Speakers

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