penchant

noun
pen·​chant | \ ˈpen-chənt How to pronounce penchant (audio) , 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

Kim is known to shoutout Kroy’s penchant for wearing speedos. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Kim Zolciak-Biermann Opens Up About Her Love for Husband Kroy: We 'Put Our Marriage First'," 6 Aug. 2019 Despite her mother’s penchant for evil, Mal wants more for her life and yearns to make others happy. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Dove Cameron on “Descendants 3”, Growing Up with Disney, and Falling In Love with Thomas Doherty and Herself," 31 July 2019 Also illustrated here is Ms. Benner’s penchant for repeating plant materials at varying heights. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "A Yard With No Lawn But Plenty of Greenery," 12 July 2019 There has long been concern that Trump’s penchant for the theatrical could undermine American foreign policy and global security, holding the world hostage to his mercurial turns on the stage. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Meaning of Trump’s Historic North Korean Jaunt, in One Image," 2 July 2019 If Congress does not accept this invitation—which seems probable given the Senate’s penchant for not legislating—will America’s malls and parks soon be filled with trademarked vulgarities and epithets? S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court strikes down a bar on offensive trademarks," 25 June 2019 Elway’s penchant for fourth-quarter comebacks turned Denver into one of the league’s toughest places to win for opponents. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Pat Bowlen dies: Hall of Fame Broncos owner was 75," 14 June 2019 Thankfully the 3,600-square-foot house wasn’t in need of all-consuming structural work—just an aesthetic overhaul to bring the circa-2000 construction in line with Sims’s penchant for traditional design with a preppy spin. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "The Paint Trick That Instantly Makes Your Home Look More Polished," 22 Mar. 2019 An avid cyclist and Muni rider with a penchant for wearing second-hand suits, Reiskin endeared himself to many but seemed to buckle under criticism from Mayor London Breed. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "SF Muni board taps Maguire as interim chief during search for leader," 10 July 2019

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

11 Aug 2019

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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