pen·​dant | \ ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce pendant (audio) ; senses 3 & 4 are also ˈpe-nənt How to pronounce pendant (audio) , sense 5 is also päⁿ-ˈdäⁿ How to pronounce pendant (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pendent

Definition of pendant

1 : something suspended: such as
a : an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free A turquoise pendant hung on her necklace.
b : an electrical fixture suspended from the ceiling hung an incandescent light pendant from the ceiling over the reading area
2 : a hanging ornament of roofs or ceilings much used in the later styles of Gothic architecture
3 : a length of line usually used as a connector on a boat or ship especially : a short rope hanging from a spar and having at its free end a block or spliced thimble (see thimble sense 2a)
4 chiefly British : pennant sense 1a
5a : companion piece The portrait of his father is a pendant to the one of his mother.
b : something secondary or supplementary The illustration is an apt pendant to the poem.

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Synonyms for pendant


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Did You Know?

Most pendants are purely decorative. But a pendant may also hold a picture or a lock of hair of a lover or a child. And, perhaps because they hang protectively in front of the body and near the heart, pendants have often had symbolic and magical purposes. Thus, a pendant may be a charm or amulet, or its gems or metals may be felt to have health-giving properties. In architecture, a pendant is an ornament that hangs down from a structure, but unlike a necklace pendant it's usually solid and inflexible.

Examples of pendant in a Sentence

Navajo necklaces with pendants finely crafted in genuine sky-blue turquoise. a pendant that once flew on Nelson's flagship
Recent Examples on the Web Round it out with some spare seating, and finish the look with pendant lighting that exudes comfort. Sarah Lloyd, Good Housekeeping, "How to Design a Classic Kitchen That Will Stand the Test of Time," 16 Mar. 2020 Each model wore opera gloves and make-up, and many dripped in embellishments such as pendants, pearl clips, beads, fabric flowers and jewels. Washington Post, "Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show," 17 Jan. 2020 The home’s period-perfect design elements include the neoclassical pendants, gas lanterns, hinged and operable Spanish cedar shutters, and a mahogany front door with beveled glass and polished nickel. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "Colonial home boasts modern touches, history in River Oaks," 4 Apr. 2020 Also present was a golden pendant depicting the head of the Egyptian goddess Hathor—a prominent cultural symbol that, despite its foreign origin, was precious enough to join its owner in death. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Artifacts in Gold-Lined Tombs Hint at Ancient Greek Trade Relationships," 18 Dec. 2019 During an 18-month excavation, the archaeologists unearthed objects such as a gold ring engraved with two bulls surrounded by sheaves of grain, as well as a gold pendant depicting an Egyptian goddess who protected the dead. Rory Sullivan And Elinda Labropoulou, CNN, "Archaeologists uncover treasure-filled 'princely' tombs in Greece," 18 Dec. 2019 Saksena told investors that pendants using certain algorithms can track how a senior is walking and predict the risk of falling. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Best Buy sees growth in health care technology for elderly," 25 Sep. 2019 Chandeliers and pendant lamps should hang at least 34 inches above the table. New York Times, "Too Much Time on Your Hands? Try Rearranging the Furniture," 1 Apr. 2020 The evidence suggests that the two teeth pendants were probably extracted from two mature individuals post-mortem. Fox News, "Grisly discovery: Human teeth were used as prehistoric jewelry," 13 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pendant.' 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 pendant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pendant

Middle English pendaunt, from Anglo-French pendant, from present participle of pendre to hang, from Vulgar Latin *pendere, from Latin pendēre; akin to Latin pendere to weigh, estimate, pay, pondus weight

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Time Traveler for pendant

Time Traveler

The first known use of pendant was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pendant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pendant


How to pronounce pendant (audio) How to pronounce pendant (audio) How to pronounce pendant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pendant

: a piece of jewelry that hangs on a chain or a cord which is worn around your neck


pen·​dant | \ ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce pendant (audio) \

Kids Definition of pendant

: a piece of jewelry hanging on a chain or cord that is worn around the neck

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