per·​pend | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈpend How to pronounce perpend (audio) \
perpended; perpending; perpends

Definition of perpend

transitive verb

: to reflect on carefully : ponder

intransitive verb

: to be attentive : reflect

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Did you know?

Perpend isn't used often these days, but when it does show up it is frequently imperative, as in our second example. As such, its use can be compared to the phrase "mark my words." "Perpend" arrived in English in the 15th century from the Latin verb perpendere, which in turn comes from pendere, meaning "to weigh." Appropriately, our English word essentially means "to weigh carefully in the mind." "Pendere" has several descendants in English, including "append," "compendium," "expend," and "suspend." "Perpend" can also be a noun meaning "a brick or large stone reaching through a wall" or "a wall built of such stones," but that "perpend" comes from a Middle French source and is unrelated to the verb.

Examples of perpend in a Sentence

spent the long weekend perpending what he wanted to do with his life

First Known Use of perpend

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for perpend

Middle English, from Latin perpendere, from per- thoroughly + pendere to weigh — more at per-, pendant

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The first known use of perpend was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Perpend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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