pen·​sion | \ ˈpen(t)-shən How to pronounce pension (audio) \

Definition of pension

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 \ ˈpen(t)-​shən How to pronounce ˈpen(t)-shən (audio) \ : a fixed sum paid regularly to a person:
a archaic : wage
b : a gratuity granted (as by a government) as a favor or reward
c : one paid under given conditions to a person following retirement from service or to surviving dependents

2 \ päⁿ-​ˈsyōⁿ How to pronounce päⁿ-ˈsyōⁿ (audio) \ [ French, from Middle French ]

a : accommodations especially at a continental European hotel or boardinghouse : room and board
b or less commonly pensione \ pen(t)-​ˈsyō-​(ˌ)nā How to pronounce pensione (audio) \ [ pensione, from Italian ] : a hotel or boardinghouse especially in continental Europe


pensioned; pensioning\ ˈpen(t)-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce pensioning (audio) \

Definition of pension (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grant or pay a pension to
2 : to dismiss or retire from service with a pension pensioned off his faithful old servant

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Other Words from pension


pensionless \ ˈpen(t)-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce pensionless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pension in a Sentence


Her pension arrives in the mail every month. retired people living on their pensions

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As much as 80 percent of Iran’s retirement funds rely on government subsidies, which the documents refer to as unsustainable for not just pensions but for food products, drugs and fuel. Nick Kalman, Fox News, "Pension funds in Iran on brink of collapse amid US ‘maximum pressure’ campaign," 15 Sep. 2019 The party’s ratings have slumped to near-record lows this year, amid anger over an increase in the national pension age and frequent allegations of corruption. The Economist, "Local elections embarrass the Kremlin," 14 Sep. 2019 The Legislature has dedicated those profits to provide matching funds for public employers that make lump sum contributions to pension side accounts. oregonlive, "Oregon Lottery delays rollout of sports betting app," 12 Sep. 2019 The think tank, which collects pay and pension database across the state, cited a 2018 UBA Health Plan Survey report that found some Bay Area cities and special districts spent more than double the regional average of $9,381 for a healthcare plan. Annie Sciacca, The Mercury News, "California cities, special districts pay much more than market rate for healthcare, study finds," 11 Sep. 2019 Fritts retired, effective July 19, as part of a pension buyout he was approved for before his sermon came to light. Hayes Hickman, USA TODAY, "Prosecutors drop same-sex rape case investigated by disgraced detective who called for LGBTQ executions," 9 Sep. 2019 Teacher pay has been highlighted by strikes in states such as Kentucky and Oklahoma, where teachers protested low wages and pension changes. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "New teachers can't afford the rent in all but one major U.S. city," 27 Aug. 2019 National Insurance contributions go towards funding the state pension. Laura Whateley,, "What A Rise To The State Pension Age Means For You - & Why You Should Worry," 21 Aug. 2019 An email instructed BinaryBook sales representatives to target retirees, Social Security recipients, pension holders and veterans as clients, according to court filings accompanying guilty pleas by former employees. Michael Kunzelman,, "Federal jury in Maryland gets case against Israeli company executive accused of duping investors," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Imperial Beach City Council recently approved a new two-year contract with firefighters that includes 5 percent pay raises, as well as adjustments to time off and pension contributions. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Imperial Beach approves new contract with fire union," 30 Aug. 2019 So could pension funds, which need returns of 7-8% to keep their promises to future pensioners, and have around 10% of their money stored in such investments, less than sovereign-wealth funds (15%) or endowments (25%). The Economist, "Stephen Schwarzman says that Blackstone is not done growing," 29 June 2019 Probably to help the dangerous situation in the northwest, a local aristocrat, Sir William Brereton managed to have the Abbot’s death sentence cancelled and he and his canons were pensioned off with the closure of Norton Abbey. James Rogers, Fox News, "King of rage: Henry VIII’s bloodthirsty letter demands monk’s brutal death," 2 May 2018 The elderly could be pensioned off, the young dispatched to college and those who had jobs sent back to work. The Economist, "Fifteen years after America’s invasion, Iraq is doing well," 28 Mar. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pension


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pension-, pensio, from pendere to pay — more at pendant

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Dictionary Entries near pension

pen shell







Statistics for pension

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pension

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

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More Definitions for pension



English Language Learners Definition of pension

: an amount of money that a company or the government pays to a person who is old or sick and no longer works


pen·​sion | \ ˈpen-shən How to pronounce pension (audio) \

Kids Definition of pension

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a sum paid regularly to a person who has retired from work


pensioned; pensioning

Kids Definition of pension (Entry 2 of 2)

: to grant or give a regularly paid sum to (a person who has retired from work)



Legal Definition of pension

: money paid under given conditions to a person following retirement or to surviving dependents — see also defined benefit plan, defined contribution plan

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Comments on pension

What made you want to look up pension? 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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