Definitions

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

  • n. 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, especially clocks. Also called simple pendulum.
  • n. Something that swings back and forth from one course, opinion, or condition to another: the pendulum of public opinion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anything that hangs down from a point of attachment and is free to swing.
  • n. In mech., a body so suspended from a fixed point as to move to and fro by the alternate action of gravity and its acquired energy of motion.
  • n. A chandelier or lamp pendent from a ceiling.
  • n. A guard-ring of a watch and its attachment, by which the watch is attached to a chain.
  • n. A pendulum that at some point of its path closes a circuit, this in turn either reporting the beats of the pendulum at distant stations for time-comparisons, or directly controlling a number of clocks. See electric clock, under clock.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. A pump in which the reciprocating motion of the piston is controlled by a pendulum.
  • n. A pump the handle of which swings on either side of its center of suspension.
  • n. A pendulum consisting of a spherical bob suspended from a cord or wire.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

New Latin, probably from Italian pendolo, pendulous, pendulum, from Latin pendulus, hanging; see pendulous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Neuter of Latin pendulus, "hanging". (Wiktionary)

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