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 pension (audio) \ [pensione, from Italian] : a hotel or boardinghouse especially in continental Europe


pensioned; pensioning\ ˈpen(t)-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce pension (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 pension (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 Their two kids were grown, and Schumacher had worked enough years to qualify for a full pension., 11 Sep. 2021 Working people with a pension will also pay the tax for the first time ever. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 10 Sep. 2021 For sure, a pension and a gold watch are dinosaurs, but the work ethic has changed also. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2021 Dear Liz: My situation is similar to the former teacher who wrote about a pension impacting Social Security benefits. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 4 Sep. 2021 The former sergeant is eligible to receive a pension. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Sep. 2021 However, while Gurkhas must serve at least 15 years to qualify for a British pension, Lawrence wonders Afghans will be tempted to leave sooner than that for better-paying civilian jobs. Michael Peck, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 The job also gave him something many musicians never have — a pension. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 In 2013, nearly 20% of Congress received a government pension alongside a congressional salary, but this practice isn’t limited to Congress. WSJ, 26 Aug. 2021 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, 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

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

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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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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