Definition of pendulum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpenjələm/


Image of pendulum
1A weight hung from a fixed point so that it can swing freely backward and forward, especially a rod with a weight at the end that regulates the mechanism of a clock.
Example sentences
  • If I then release the weight the pendulum begins to swing.
  • The early pendulum clocks had short pendulums.
  • Until the 1920s, the most accurate timepieces depended on the regular swing of a pendulum.
1.1Used to refer to the tendency of a situation to oscillate between one extreme and another: the pendulum of fashion
More example sentences
  • Sometimes the pendulum is at one extreme or another as the result of the push of forces for change.
  • You can see how the pendulum between these two extremes has swung by looking at e-mail.
  • Although he wrongly concluded that the periods of oscillation of two pendulums were in the same ratio as their lengths, he later corrected the error.



Pronunciation: /ˈpenjələr/
Example sentences
  • A third pattern of contractions, called pendular movements, manifests itself as swaying motions seen in isolated loops of intestine, probably reflecting rhythmic contractions confined to the longitudinal layer of muscle.
  • My feeling is that the moment of inertia and pendular stability is sufficient to retard the pitch change from a single surface deflection.
  • Most west European tower bells are chimed at their natural pendular speed; small bells, therefore, sound in faster succession than large bells.


Mid 17th century: from Latin, neuter (used as a noun) of pendulus 'hanging down'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pen·du·lum

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