Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Architecture A triangular section of vaulting between the rim of a dome and each adjacent pair of the arches that support it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The concave triangular sections of vaulting that provide the transition between a dome and the square base on which it is set and transfer the weight of the dome.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The portion of a vault by means of which the square space in the middle of a building is brought to an octagon or circle to receive a cupola.
  • n. The part of a groined vault which is supported by, and springs from, one pier or corbel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having pendentives; of the shape of or pertaining to pendentives.
  • n. In architecture, one of the triangular segments of the lower part of a hemispherical dome left by the penetration of the dome by two semicircular or ogival vaults, intersecting at right angles.

Etymologies

French pendentif, from Latin pendēns, pendent-, hanging, present participle of pendēre, to hang.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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