Word of the Day : June 8, 2017

penchant

play
noun PEN-chunt

Definition

: a strong and continued inclination; broadly : liking

Examples

"The irony is that acting young kept me out of trouble, giving me a sense of focus and purpose. I had a penchant for adventure." — Juliette Lewis, quoted in The Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2015

"Among the many school-year rituals, none stands out in my mind more than picture day.… Ever eager to look my best, I had a penchant for trying something different with my hair—with less-than-stellar results." — Becky Kover, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 4 Aug. 2014



Did You Know?

Like its synonyms leaning, propensity, and proclivity, penchant implies a strong instinct or liking for something. But these four words, while similar, are also distinguished by subtle differences. Leaning usually suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable ("a student with artistic leanings"), whereas propensity tends to imply a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination ("a propensity to offer advice"). Proclivity frequently suggests a strong, natural proneness to something objectionable or evil ("a proclivity for violence"). Penchant, a descendant of Latin pendere (meaning "to weigh"), typically implies a strongly marked taste in the person ("a penchant for jazz music") or an irresistible attraction in the object ("a penchant for taking risks").



Word Family Quiz

What word derived from Latin pendere refers to a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!