Meaning of PENDULUM in English


-ləm noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, neuter of pendulus hanging, pendent


a. : a body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity and commonly used to regulate the movements of clockwork and other machinery

b. : a suspended body that vibrates not by swinging but by rotating, with alternate twisting and untwisting (as the balance wheel of a watch) — called also torsion pendulum

2. : something that alternates between opposites

the pendulum of public opinion

3. : a technique used in mountain climbing to accomplish a difficult traverse by swinging across on a rope

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.