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

transitive verb

: to reflect on carefully : ponder

intransitive verb

: to be attentive : reflect

Did you know?

Perpend isn't used often these days, but when it does show up it is frequently imperative, as in "Perpend the following." As such, its use can be compared to the phrases "consider this" or "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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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


Dictionary Entries Near perpend

Cite this Entry

“Perpend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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