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


bangle, charm, lavaliere (also lavalliere)

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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

Welfare check: Fox Hill Drive Officers responded at 2 a.m. Aug. 23 to a medical pendant alarm activation and confirmed it was placed accidentally by the resident., "Man takes break to sleep on church grounds while walking to Virginia: Gates Mills Police Blotter," 6 Sep. 2019 The title of the painting, which dates from the 1850s, is Portrait of a Seated Young Woman, by Thomas Couture, and the hole was near the young woman’s left hand, which clutches a cross pendant. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Haunting of Paris: Georges Mandel and the Long Legacy of Nazi Violence," 6 Aug. 2019 From the outside, the front of the house at 214 Lotus St. is a clear example of Queen Anne architecture, with periwinkle-color columns, wood windows and a pendant lamp hanging from the ceiling of the decorative porch. Sara Cline,, "OHP: Century-old home near downtown San Antonio should be named landmark, not razed," 22 Aug. 2019 The interior of the café and bar gives a nod to Nordic minimalism with simple wooden chairs, charcoal walls, and soft pendant lights. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Beer Halls to Bakeries, Where to Find Seattle’s Scandinavian Influences," 4 Sep. 2019 In one client’s large live oak tree, Galindo installed several red pendant lights, called fireflies, that hang from the branches like Christmas ornaments. Richard A. Marini,, "How outdoor lighting can make your yard an inviting living space," 29 Aug. 2019 Gold Jewelry Worn with a simple swimsuit or a white linen button-down, layered necklaces, whether a few slender chains or a cluster of chunky pendants, are an easy way to feel more polished on the beach. Caitie Kelly, New York Times, "Simple, Timeless Ways to Dress for the Beach," 1 Aug. 2019 The stunning piece features a central cabachon emerald surrounded by two circles of diamonds, with a large drop emerald as a detachable pendant, attached with a chain of diamonds in a leaf shape. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Did The Queen's Brooch for Trump's U.S. Visit Throw Shade This Time Around?," 3 June 2019 His head was resting on a pillow by this point, and the top buttons of his slim-fitting blue shirt were undone, revealing two pendants. Karan Mahajan, The New Yorker, "The Delhi Walla’s Visions of a Possibly Vanishing India," 11 Aug. 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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Statistics for pendant

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

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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 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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Comments on pendant

What made you want to look up pendant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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