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 Even when the stock market recovered after the financial crisis, superlow interest rates have also weighed on the pension plans. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Is Your City’s Pension Fund a Little Short? Marijuana Might Help," 4 Feb. 2020 Unlike hourly city employees, council aides don’t get overtime, don’t get the same level of health insurance and aren’t eligible for the city’s pension plan. Sara Cline,, "San Antonio City Council approves increase in fund to pay council aides," 30 Jan. 2020 The company said Muilenburg forfeited a $14.6 million severance package, but will receive $62 million in stock and pension benefits. Washington Post, "Boeing’s new CEO pledges ‘greater transparency’ in message to employees," 14 Jan. 2020 Now, workers in the private and public sector get pension benefits based on the salaries of their best working years. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Macron Scraps Proposal to Raise Retirement Age in France," 11 Jan. 2020 According to Boeing’s proxy filing in April, Muilenburg has accrued pension benefits worth just over $12 million per year. oregonlive, "Will new Boeing CEO bring the change company needs?," 24 Dec. 2019 As part of the settlement, Bachmann’s termination was changed to a retirement, which allows him to collect pension benefits. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Air district whistleblowers awarded $4 million in records-destruction case," 17 Dec. 2019 The case involves the village of Buffalo Grove’s appeal to the Second District Appellate Court to overturn a 100% line of duty death pension benefit award to the family of late firefighter Kevin Hauber. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "The family of a firefighter who died of colon cancer and Buffalo Grove are at odds over his pension benefits. An appellate court will now decide.," 10 Dec. 2019 Mine workers stand to lose in the bankruptcy — not just in jobs but potentially in the erosion of healthcare and pension benefits. David Goldman, CNN, "America's largest private coal miner files for bankruptcy," 29 Oct. 2019 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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