pen·​du·​lous ˈpen-jə-ləs How to pronounce pendulous (audio)
archaic : poised without visible support
: suspended so as to swing freely
branches hung with pendulous vines
: inclined or hanging downward
pendulous jowls
: marked by vacillation, indecision, or uncertainty
pendulousness noun

Examples of pendulous in a Sentence

a cow with a pendulous udder a pendulous crystal chandelier dominated the ballroom
Recent Examples on the Web Now my face was enormous, my mouth elongated, my nostrils gaping, and my lips pendulous. Hazlitt, 26 July 2023 Most of us non-natives who have chosen to dribble out our days at the tip of this pendulous peninsula — too soft or too old for harder lives being lived in greater America (my wife puts me in both categories) — realize that escape comes with certain cultural trade-offs. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 30 June 2022 According to an article by MJ Banias, on the Web site the Debrief, Bigelow hired investigators to look into reports at Skinwalker of doglike creatures who smelled of sulfur and goblins with long, pendulous arms, as well as U.F.O. activity near Mt. Shasta. The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021 His roof a worsted novel with covers of bloodhound ears are pendulous, but never turning like a page. Farnoosh Fathi, The New York Review of Books, 2 Feb. 2023 Waldron was the epitome of style and urbanity in jazz, from his pendulous brown cigarette dangling from his fingers to his signature coifed natural Black hair that grew into a stately white. Shannon J. Effinger, Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2022 Her Cleopatra hairstyle had been dyed with strips of white, pink, and mold blue, and the pendulous ruffles of her gown-like overcoat were patterned orange and gray-green. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 21 Sep. 2022 Angèle quickly set about working with Viard and the Chanel team to reimagine the designs—with their thigh-high splits and pendulous accessories—for a 21st-century pop star. Liam Hess, Vogue, 23 May 2022 Her law clerks purchased the necklace—sunflower-like with its bright yellow beadwork and pendulous small crystal balls—from Anthropologie. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pendulous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin pendulus, from pendēre to hang

First Known Use

circa 1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pendulous was circa 1605

Dictionary Entries Near pendulous

Cite this Entry

“Pendulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pen·​du·​lous ˈpen-jə-ləs How to pronounce pendulous (audio)
: hanging so as to swing freely
: hanging downward
pendulously adverb

Medical Definition


pen·​du·​lous -ləs How to pronounce pendulous (audio)
: inclined or hanging downward
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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