noun pen·dant \ ˈpen-dənt ; senses 3 & 4 are also ˈpe-nənt , sense 5 is also päⁿ-ˈdäⁿ \
variants: or less commonly pendent
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

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 2a)
4 chiefly British : pennant 1a
5 a : 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.

Examples of pendant in a Sentence

  1. Navajo necklaces with pendants finely crafted in genuine sky-blue turquoise.

  2. a pendant that once flew on Nelson's flagship

Recent Examples of pendant from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

pendant Synonyms


bangle, charm;

Related Words

locket, teardrop;

Other Jewelry Terms

PENDANT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of pendant for English Language Learners

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

PENDANT Defined for Kids


noun pen·dant \ ˈpen-dənt \

Definition of pendant for Students

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

Word Root of pendant

The Latin word pendere, meaning “to cause to hang down,” gives us the root pend. Words from the Latin pendere have something to do with hanging. To suspend is to cause something to hang down from a single point. To depend is to hang, or rely, on the support of others. A pendant is an ornament that hangs free, as on a necklace. A pendulum is an object hung from a point that swings freely back and forth, as in a clock.

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very hard to disturb or upset

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