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 retirees say one possible solution — the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 — is the best chance currently on the table to save their pension benefits. Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "KC union retirees join rally in Ohio for pension fix — or is it a bailout?," 13 July 2018 Source: Morningstar The next step is to deduct from that $80,000 estimated Social Security and pension benefits. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, "Behind on Retirement Savings? It’s Not Too Late to Catch Up," 12 July 2018 In 2005, Kohl submitted a request for disability pension benefits and was accepted. Kelly Healey, ajc, "83-year-old Florida man posed as Marine Corps vet, collected $220K in benefits," 12 July 2018 The county then shifted the pension benefits to the officer’s son. Alison Knezevich,, "Baltimore Co. officer's widow sues over pension benefits," 22 June 2018 The two most recent multi-year contracts offered less generous health benefits, initiated a new paycheck deduction that funds retiree health benefits and reduced pension benefits for future workers. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Jerry Brown has weak argument for 'large' prison guard raises, analyst says," 30 May 2018 To coax older workers to stay, Bon Secours modified its pension benefits so employees aren’t penalized for working part-time in later years, Godwin says. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Older workers get flexible hours, work-at-home options to keep them from retirement," 21 May 2018 In Kentucky, teachers have swarmed the capitol and some districts have shut down to protest a bill reducing pension benefits. Molly Ball, Time, "Fed-Up Women Are Changing American Politics," 12 Apr. 2018 Teachers in the state are furious about a surprise bill lawmakers passed last week that cuts pension benefits for new and retiring teachers. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Teacher strikes have shut down hundreds of schools in Oklahoma and Kentucky," 2 Apr. 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

4 Nov 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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