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

Definition of pension

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


Her pension arrives in the mail every month. retired people living on their pensions

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gores is being targeted by activists who are demanding reforms at Securus and have even pressed pension funds to stop investing in his Platinum Equity buyout firm. Laurence Darmientostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Troubled companies made him billions. A prison phone investment made him enemies," 5 Sep. 2019 The senator from Massachusetts also proposed a health and pension fund for coal miners. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Harris, Warren Reveal Climate Plans Ahead Of CNN Town Hall On Global Warming," 4 Sep. 2019 Storebrand ASA and pension fund, KLP, are intensifying their research to map out who’s responsible for any potential damage., "Key investor suggests Redstone ‘step back’ from Viacom-CBS," 28 Aug. 2019 Voters will also decide whether to cap city spending in an effort to pay off the city's $4.5 billion pension debt faster. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Proposition 105: Phoenix voters will decide future of light rail today," 27 Aug. 2019 Instead of raising a deposit and debt before paying it off, customers would simply earn into the equity of their development, kind of like contributing to a pension fund. Vuyo Radebe, Quartz, "Millennials are calling BS on the benefits of owning a home," 27 Aug. 2019 In Europe, pension funds may be forced to cut benefits in part thanks to the decline in rates. Fortune, "Financial Security of Future Retirees in Jeopardy After ‘Financial Vandalism’ of Falling Yields," 27 Aug. 2019 Americans depend on strong companies not only as employees and communities, but also as owners, including through pension funds and other retirement holdings. Heather Landy, Quartz at Work, "Not everyone is on board with a major business lobby’s new definition of corporate purpose," 19 Aug. 2019 And if projections hold over this fiscal year and next, Gov. Ned Lamont and the General Assembly could begin accelerating payments on Connecticut’s massive pension debt. Keith M. Phaneuf,, "Connecticut’s budget reserve on the brink of hitting record high," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Dictionary Entries near pension

pen shell







Statistics for pension

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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 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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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).


to make a temporary encampment

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