pendulum

noun
pen·​du·​lum | \ ˈpen-jə-ləm How to pronounce pendulum (audio) , ˈpen-dyə-, -də- \

Definition of pendulum

1 : a body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity and commonly used to regulate movements (as of clockwork)
2 : something (such as a state of affairs) that alternates between opposites doesn't take much to swing the pendulum of opinion the other way

Examples of pendulum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Merlot is primed to return as the pendulum swings back from glou-glou. Marissa A. Ross, Bon Appétit, "You're Not Going to Believe I'm Saying This, But Merlot Is Back," 22 Nov. 2019 In Virginia, the political pendulum has swung several times in the State House over the past decade. BostonGlobe.com, "How voters turned Virginia from deep red to solid blue - The Boston Globe," 10 Nov. 2019 In Virginia, the political pendulum has swung several times in the statehouse over the past decade. Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, "How Voters Turned Virginia From Deep Red to Solid Blue," 9 Nov. 2019 The pendulum can’t swing back too far in the other direction. BostonGlobe.com, "The Sox got the right guy. Now, they just have to let him do the job.," 3 Nov. 2019 But some argue that the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "The Housing Market Needs More Than Low Mortgage Rates," 31 Oct. 2019 After an extended run of hip-hop domination on the Hot 100, the pendulum has swung back toward pop this calendar year. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Selena Gomez's Resounding 'Lose You to Love Me' Debut," 29 Oct. 2019 The pendulum has swung recently toward restricting hateful speech that could spawn violence. Washington Post, "Zuckerberg appears in Congress as Facebook faces scrutiny," 23 Oct. 2019 The pendulum has swung recently toward restricting hateful speech that could spawn violence. Marcy Gordon, The Denver Post, "Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s currency plans before Congress," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pendulum.' 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 pendulum

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pendulum

New Latin, from Latin, neuter of pendulus

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Time Traveler for pendulum

Time Traveler

The first known use of pendulum was in 1660

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Statistics for pendulum

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pendulum.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pendulum. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for pendulum

pendulum

noun
How to pronounce pendulum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pendulum

: a stick with a weight at the bottom that swings back and forth inside a clock

pendulum

noun
pen·​du·​lum | \ ˈpen-jə-ləm How to pronounce pendulum (audio) , -dyə- \

Kids Definition of pendulum

: a weight hung from a point so as to swing freely back and forth under the action of gravity

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More from Merriam-Webster on pendulum

Spanish Central: Translation of pendulum

Nglish: Translation of pendulum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pendulum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pendulum

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