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

The moves, coupled with Pruitt’s penchant for secrecy, made him a lightning rod for controversy. Brady Dennis, Washington Post, "Scott Pruitt steps down as EPA head after ethics, management scandals," 5 July 2018 The former first lady’s penchant for luxury goods has been widely discussed in Malaysia, but the announcement offered new details of the extent of the couple’s trove. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Tiaras, Purses and Cash: Malaysia Seizes Record Haul From Ex-Leader Najib," 27 June 2018 Systrom has openly acknowledged Instagram’s penchant for copying the competition, in a refreshing break from the usual Silicon Valley habit of claiming to have invented everything. Natasha Mascarenhas, SFChronicle.com, "Instagram, in challenge to YouTube, unveils new IGTV video app," 20 June 2018 Part of the concern, as Noah Bierman and Tracy Wilkinson wrote, is Trump's penchant for declaring victory before the hard work is done. David Lauter, latimes.com, "For Trump, a focus on nuclear diplomacy provides a welcome change of topic," 10 May 2018 But there are a few things that need to be cleaned up, not the least of which is their penchant for walking opposing hitters. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Baffling Cubs continue streaky season with blown game against Cardinals," 5 May 2018 And then there was Benson's penchant for fast driving. Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com, "Tom Benson's Saints inner circle fondly recalls life and times with 'Mr. B'," 23 Mar. 2018 Kate Middleton has a penchant for Zara’s coats and was once spotted wearing pants from the Gap as well. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Letizia of Spain’s PVC Mules Are By Steve Madden—and Just Under $100," 13 July 2018 Apparently, Chef Scott Staples has a penchant for transformations. Zoe Sayler, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s veggie burgers: Eating your vegetables never tasted this good," 3 July 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

22 Sep 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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