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

Definition of pension

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 \ ˈpen(t)-​shən How to pronounce pension (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 pension (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

Noun Her pension arrives in the mail every month. retired people living on their pensions
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition to complaints about staff levels, firefighters also raised issues with their pension system and the method used to calculate overtime payments. Jeff Adelson,, "This $15.9M federal grant aims to fix staffing concerns at the NOFD with 62 new hires," 8 Sep. 2020 The Teachers Retirement pension fund has an army of investment managers. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "The trouble with stock prices? No competition," 5 Sep. 2020 Meng’s surprise resignation raised questions about oversight at the $400 billion pension system, the largest in the U.S. Romy Varghese,, "Calpers May Force Its Next CIO to Unload Personal Holdings," 4 Sep. 2020 Bay Area housing to get $1 billion investment from union pension fund as financing dries up. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: A long, hot weekend," 4 Sep. 2020 In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Schaitberger had been accused by the union’s current treasurer of prematurely collecting more than $1 million from the union pension fund. Brody Mullins, WSJ, "U.S. Launches Probe Into Pension Payments to Firefighters Union Leaders," 3 Sep. 2020 Roughly $400 million of the shortfall is related to Chicago’s underfunded pension system. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Lumber cost jacked, turtle benefit, eviction relief: News from around our 50 states," 2 Sep. 2020 Kentucky’s pension system is one of the worst-funded in America, according to the Courier-Journal. Julia Fair, The Enquirer, "Northern Kentucky police turned to social workers for help. Now they're seeking to hire more.," 26 Aug. 2020 In 1964, Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa was sentenced in Chicago to five years in federal prison for defrauding his union’s pension fund., "This day in history," 17 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "T-Mobile offers steep wireless discounts for firefighters, police, other first responders," 28 Oct. 2019 Nor can pension reform ever solve the deep inequality that lies behind the anger. The Economist, "Chile tinkers with its ground-breaking pensions system," 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, "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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Time Traveler for pension

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pension

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for pension


How to pronounce pension (audio)

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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