1 of 2


pen·​sion ˈpen(t)-shən How to pronounce pension (audio)
ˈpen(t)-shən How to pronounce pension (audio) : a fixed sum paid regularly to a person:
archaic : wage
: a gratuity granted (as by a government) as a favor or reward
: one paid under given conditions to a person following retirement from service or to surviving dependents
\ päⁿ-​ˈsyōⁿ How to pronounce pension (audio) \ [French, from Middle French]
: accommodations especially at a continental European hotel or boardinghouse : room and board
or less commonly pensione [pensione, from Italian] : a hotel or boardinghouse especially in continental Europe
pensionless adjective


2 of 2


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

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Noun Her pension arrives in the mail every month. retired people living on their pensions
Recent Examples on the Web
Investing in an American wind farm is relatively easy; the pension fund can predict their earnings based on a hundred years of historical returns from utility companies. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2022 So could the Ontario pension fund, one of Canada’s largest. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2022 Goldberg has pushed to use the state pension fund as a weapon in the fight against climate change, recommending last year that the fund’s managers pressure companies to cut emissions and take other measures to comply with world climate goals. Matt Stout,, 9 Nov. 2022 Part of the new debt included in the finance plan for next year, or around €10 billion, is earmarked for investment in stocks for a new state pension fund, the people said. Kamil Kowalcze, Fortune, 8 Nov. 2022 The pension fund business is seen as a stolid part of the financial world. Joe Rennison, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2022 Kiran Aziz, head of responsible Investments at KLP, Norway’s largest pension fund—which holds shares in both Google and Amazon—said in an email to WIRED that the worker protests added to the investor’s concern about the project. WIRED, 11 Sep. 2022 All three ratings agencies, however, have made note of the major challenges still facing the state’s chronically anemic finances, including staggering pension debt and slow economic growth. Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, 5 May 2022 And the proposal makes $2 billion in payments to help reduce state pension debt, according to the legislators, who have yet to release any documents. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022
The plans kick in on Nov. 1 and apply to eligible state and local law enforcement, firefighters, emergency response personnel, pensioned retirees, as well as parents, children, or spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2019 Nor can pension reform ever solve the deep inequality that lies behind the anger. The Economist, 8 June 2019 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, 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, 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, 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, 28 Mar. 2018 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near pension

Cite this Entry

“Pension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
pen·​sion ˈpen-chən How to pronounce pension (audio)
: a sum paid regularly to a person especially following retirement or to surviving dependents


2 of 2 verb
pensioned; pensioning ˈpench-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce pension (audio)
: to pay a pension to

Legal Definition


: money paid under given conditions to a person following retirement or to surviving dependents see also defined benefit plan, defined contribution plan
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.