What does pendulum mean?

Definitions for pendulum
ˈpɛn dʒə ləm, ˈpɛn dyə-, -də-pen·du·lum

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pendulum.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pendulumnoun

    an apparatus consisting of an object mounted so that it swings freely under the influence of gravity


  1. pendulumnoun

    A body suspended from a fixed support so that it swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity, commonly used to regulate various devices such as clocks.

  2. Etymology: Neuter of pendulus, "hanging".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Pendulumnoun

    Any weight hung so as that it may easily swing backwards and forwards, of which the great law is, that its oscillations are always performed in equal time.

    Etymology: pendulus, Lat. pendule, Fr.

    Upon the bench I will so handle ’em,
    That the vibration of this pendulum
    Shall make all taylors yards of one
    Unanimous opinion. Hudibras.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pendulumnoun

    a body so suspended from a fixed point as to swing freely to and fro by the alternate action of gravity and momentum. It is used to regulate the movements of clockwork and other machinery

  2. Etymology: [NL., fr. L. pendulus hanging, swinging. See Pendulous.]


  1. Pendulum

    A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force combined with the pendulum's mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing, is called the period. A pendulum swings with a specific period which depends on its length. From its discovery around 1602 by Galileo Galilei the regular motion of pendulums was used for timekeeping, and was the world's most accurate timekeeping technology until the 1930s. Pendulums are used to regulate pendulum clocks, and are used in scientific instruments such as accelerometers and seismometers. Historically they were used as gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity in geophysical surveys, and even as a standard of length. The word 'pendulum' is new Latin, from the Latin pendulus, meaning 'hanging'. The simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical model of a pendulum. This is a weight on the end of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without friction. When given an initial push, it will swing back and forth at a constant amplitude. Real pendulums are subject to friction and air drag, so the amplitude of their swings declines.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pendulum

    pen′dū-lum, n. any weight so hung from a fixed point as to swing freely: the swinging weight which regulates the movement of a clock: a lamp, &c., pendent from a ceiling: a guard-ring of a watch by which it is attached to a chain.—adj. Pen′dular, relating to a pendulum.—v.i. Pen′dulate, to swing, vibrate.—adjs. Pen′dulent, pendulous; Pen′duline, building a pendulous nest; Pen′dulous, hanging loosely: swinging freely, as the pensile nests of birds: (bot.) hanging downwards, as a flower on a curved stalk.—adv. Pen′dulously.—ns. Pen′dulousness, Pen′dulosity.—Pendulum wire, a kind of flat steel wire for clock pendulums.—Compensation pendulum, a pendulum so constructed that its rod is not altered in length by changes of temperature; Compound pendulum, every ordinary pendulum is compound, as differing from a Simple pendulum, which is a material point suspended by an ideal line; Invariable pendulum, a pendulum for carrying from station to station to be oscillated at each so as to fix the relative acceleration of gravity; Long and short pendulum, a pendulum for determining the absolute force of gravity by means of a bob suspended by a wire of varying length. [L., neut. of pendulus, hanging—pendēre, to hang.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. pendulum

    A gravitating instrument for measuring the motion of a ship and thereby assisting the accuracy of her gunnery in regulating horizontal fire.

Suggested Resources

  1. pendulum

    Song lyrics by pendulum -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pendulum on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce pendulum?

How to say pendulum in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pendulum in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pendulum in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of pendulum in a Sentence

  1. Art Hogan:

    The selloff last week was an over reaction and the attempted rally was too fast and furious, i think the compression of time and speed of Wunderlich Equity Capital Markets causes the pendulum to swing too far on every move we make.

  2. Chris Woolard:

    We have all become used to a regulatory pendulum that swings one way or the other, but at the moment there are two - a wholesale one and a retail one, we are seeing the removal of frictions but in retail, a continued tough - and in some cases, tightening - stance on consumer protection.

  3. Andrew Selee:

    I get the sense that the pendulum has shifted much more to trying to get the numbers down. At first, they were really concerned about separating themselves from the Donald Trump administration, i think they're really in contention on how to contain people from crossing the border. But they don't seem to have a lot of tools.

  4. Vali Nasr:

    The U.S. went from having a huge Middle East policy to having a minimal Middle East policy, the pendulum has swung the opposite way toward deliberate avoidance of any kind of vision for the region.

  5. Rebecca Hains:

    There is a sort of pendulum swing that happens constantly in our culture.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for pendulum

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for pendulum »


Find a translation for the pendulum definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these pendulum definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "pendulum." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 2 Oct. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pendulum>.

    Are we missing a good definition for pendulum? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    emerged from an egg
    • A. whirring
    • B. witless
    • C. profound
    • D. hatched

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for pendulum: