pen·dant | \ˈpen-dənt; senses 3 & 4 are also ˈpe-nənt, sense 5 is also päⁿ-ˈdäⁿ \
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


bangle, charm

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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

Especially enticing is the kitchen, which looks the most updated with industrial-chic pendant lighting, charming sage cabinetry and window trimmings, and, of course, stainless steel appliances. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "1820 farmhouse on 30 acres asks $1.5M," 27 June 2018 Period fireplaces are among the original character details, while exotic items such as artistic tilework and pendant lighting give off a slightly Moroccan feel. Neal J. Leitereg,, "Soleil Moon Frye, Jason Goldberg part with Moroccan-vibe home in Hancock Park," 25 June 2018 More wearable, perhaps, is a pendant in 14-karat yellow gold, topped with a round cabochon amethyst and ending in 19 pave-set full-cut round diamonds. Fortune, "Prince's Purple-Sequined Jumpsuit Among Items Set for Auction," 17 May 2018 The formal dining room has a wall of windows overlooking the pool; recessed and pendant lighting plus a chandelier; electronic shades; maple hardwood floors; and an Armani dining table and chairs that remain in the home. Lisa Zapalac, Houston Chronicle, "Braeswood Place contemporary offers 5,500-plus square feet," 6 May 2018 Jewelry artist Ella Wolf created a pendant for Moshe Talmor in memory of his mother Leah Flischmann, an Auschwitz survivor. Martina Schimitschek,, "At the Mingei, Israeli ingenuity comes into focus in new exhibit," 15 Apr. 2018 West Elm sells many Sputnik-y pendants (from $199). New York Times, "Trends in Design and Home Furnishings," 8 May 2018 A few of us in the family have a few ashes in like a little pendant. Paul Larosa, CBS News, "Search for missing Marine wife "like finding a needle in a thousand haystacks”," 12 June 2018 Alvar Aalto’s stools provide seating, while his Hand Grenade pendants dangle above. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "This gorgeous pop-up restaurant is completely waste-free," 22 May 2018

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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Statistics for pendant

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pendant

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

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More Definitions for pendant



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 \

Kids Definition of pendant

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

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