pen·sion | \ ˈpen(t)-shən \

Definition of pension 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 \ˈpen(t)-shən \ : 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 \ [ 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 \ [ pensione, from Italian ] : a hotel or boardinghouse especially in continental Europe


pensioned; pensioning\ˈpen(t)-sh(ə-)niŋ \

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 \ 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

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday undid 2013 changes to the City of Milwaukee's pension board, which the court said unlawfully diluted the voice of police and firefighters on the board. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Supreme Court gives Milwaukee police greater voice on pension board," 6 July 2018 But Flex workers get no health insurance or pension, and are not guaranteed a certain number of hours or shifts a week. Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, "I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare," 25 June 2018 Chicago owes in excess of $50,000 per resident in pensions for teachers, firefighters and police officers. Michael Hicks, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: Ruling against public-sector unions makes us freer," 1 July 2018 Why did the raiders keep finding overstuffed pensions to exploit? Mary Williams Walsh,, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 Nicaragua has been convulsed by unrest since April, when its leftist president proposed reducing pension benefits to cover a social security shortfall. NBC News, "Violence rings out at Nicaraguan church, university after nationwide strike," 14 July 2018 His logic won accolades in academia and played less well among pension officials. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Jeremy Gold Shook Up Pension World With Warnings About Risks," 13 July 2018 Patterson currently serves on the town pension board. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "New Manchester School Board Member To Serve Rest Of Leon's Term," 13 July 2018 In January of this year, Coombes admitted to killing her father, concealing his death and profiting from his pension benefits. Samantha Schmidt, Houston Chronicle, "She found her father's child porn images of herself, then killed him - and kept it secret for 12 years," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

23 Sep 2018

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 \

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).


characteristic trappings or dress

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