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.

Synonyms for pendant


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 And while timeless jewelry pieces like a tennis bracelet, delicate pendant necklace, or cocktail ring can take a bridal look from lovely to extraordinary, earrings always make the most impact without taking away from your wedding look. Laura Lajiness Kaupke, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 May 2022 Pulling the ensemble together with a glamorous stack of chunky necklaces, which included a large gold cross pendant, Hailey understood the assignment with matching lime green nails and even a green drink. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 26 Apr. 2022 In 2020 the Chinese fashion retailer Shein, which has gained a massive following in North America, apologized and removed a necklace featuring a swastika pendant from its store, after social media users accused the brand of promoting anti-Semitism. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 Meghan left her hair down, and wore simple jewelry, including a silver pendant. ELLE, 17 Apr. 2022 Around her neck was a blingy pendant necklace that likely costs more than a down payment on a car. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 16 Feb. 2022 An enchanted pact-protecting pendant complicates the showdown anyone can see coming. Peter Debruge, Variety, 5 Apr. 2022 Both singers arrived at the microphone wearing the same black Versace wrap dress and chunky gold pendant turning to one another in false outrage. Leah Dolan, CNN, 4 Apr. 2022 The brand’s ceramics grew to include not only cups, but also all manner of tableware and other decorative pieces like pendant lamps, which are now made by some 70 artisans. New York Times, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Buying Guide

Make your own jewelry for gifts or for yourself with kits chosen by our Reviews team.

Learn More About pendant

Time Traveler for pendant

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near pendant



pendant post

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pendant

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pendant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for pendant


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pendant

Nglish: Translation of pendant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pendant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pendant


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!