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

  • adj. Hanging loosely; suspended: the pensile nest of the Baltimore oriole.
  • adj. Having or building a hanging nest. Used of birds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Hanging down, suspended.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Hanging; suspended; pendent; pendulous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Hanging; suspended; hanging and swaying; pendulous.
  • Building a hanging nest: as, the pensile warbler.


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

Latin pēnsilis, from pēnsus, past participle of pendēre, to hang; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From classical Latin pensilis, from the past participle stem of pendere ("to hang").


  • They are compact and rather deep, half pensile, that is to say, partly slung between the branches of the fork to which they are attached by bands of vegetable fibres.

    The Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds, Volume 1

  • Now in this palace he erected very high walks, supported by stone pillars, and by planting what was called a pensile paradise, and replenishing it with all sorts of trees, he rendered the prospect an exact resemblance of a mountainous country.

    Against Apion

  • He also erected what was called a pensile paradise, because his wife was desirous to have things like her own country, she having been bred up in the palaces of Media. "

    Antiquities of the Jews

  • The nest of the South African Cape Weaver above provides an example of a 'pensile' nest, one supported entirely by suspension from above or from the side; the Cape Weaver likes to hang its nest from power lines and fences that crisscross the grasslands of the Western Cape.

    Photo-Op: Nest Fest

  • The translucent Thames reflected the pensile branches of the trees, while on its clear bosom boats and pleasure-barges were gliding; and as the sun disappeared in the western sky, it was richly coloured with a crimson hue in a cloudless horizon.

    The Curate and His Daughter, a Cornish Tale

  • Ellena heard once more, with the joy of liberty, the midnight breeze passing among the pensile branches of the palms, that loftily overshadowed a rude platform before the gate, and rustling with fainter sound among the pendent shrubs of the surrounding cliffs.

    The Italian

  • The walls are beautifully stuccoed and decorated with Morisco fancifulness; the lofty ceiling was originally of the same favorite material, with the usual frostwork and pensile ornaments or stalactites; which, with the embellishments of vivid coloring and gilding, must have been gorgeous in the extreme.

    The Alhambra

  • I saw the lantern pensile formerly taken out of the temple of

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • Maritima are longer than those of the Pinus Lariccio, and the branches more pensile.

    Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition.

  • It is, however, a graceful and beautiful object, enjoying to an eminent decree the lightness and airiness of the birch family, and spreading out its glistening leaves on the ends of a very slender and often pensile spray with an indescribable softness.

    Among the Trees at Elmridge


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  • If long warbling obliges a bird to rest

    A cradle that rocks will suit him best.

    His hot and intense style

    Is cooled by the pensile

    And soothed in a filipendulous nest.

    January 12, 2015