Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To consider carefully; ponder.
  • intransitive v. To be attentive; reflect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To ponder, consider.
  • n. A brick or stone that has its longest dimension perpendicular to the face of a wall, especially one that extends through the wall's entire thickness
  • n. A vertical joint between bricks or blocks in a horizontal course

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To weight carefully in the mind.
  • intransitive v. To attend; to be attentive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To weigh in the mind; consider attentively.
  • To hang down.
  • n. In architecture, a long stone reaching through the thickness of a wall so that it is visible on both sides, and is therefore wrought and smoothed at both ends. Now usually called bond-stone, bonder, or through, also perpend-stone, perpent-stone. See cut under ashler.

Etymologies

Latin perpendere : per-, per- + pendere, to weigh; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin perpendere, from per- + pendere ("to weigh"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Could humility teach others, as it hath instructed me, to contemplate the infinite and incomprehensible distance betwixt the Creator and the creature; or did we seriously perpend that one simile of St Paul, “shall the vessel say to the potter, why hast thou made me thus?” it would prevent these arrogant disputes of reason: nor would we argue the definitive sentence of God, either to heaven or hell.

    Religio Medici

  • Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly flux of a cat.

    As You Like It

  • So I do, madonna; but to read his right wits is to read thus: therefore perpend, my princess, and give ear.

    Twelfth Night; or, What You Will

  • Wouldst thou see the experience thereof, go to the territory of the Switzers and earnestly perpend with thyself there the situation of the lake of Wunderberlich, about four leagues distant from Berne, on the Syon-side of the land.

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

  • When I perpend with myself these and such-like marvellous effects of this wonderful herb, it seemeth strange unto me how the invention of so useful a practice did escape through so many by-past ages the knowledge of the ancient philosophers, considering the inestimable utility which from thence proceeded, and the immense labour which without it they did undergo in their pristine elucubrations.

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

  • Without putting ourselves to any stir or trouble in the least, quoth Pantagruel, let us maturely and seriously consider and perpend the gestures and speech which he hath made and uttered.

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

  • Master Theodorus, seriously to perpend, if it were possible, how to bring Gargantua into a better course.

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

  • Piezoelectrical elements are used to control the horizontal movement of the stylus in two perpend icular directions so that it scans the surface a long parallel lines - hence the name scanning microscope The vertical movement of the stylus is controlled and measured using another piozoelement.

    Press Release: The 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics

  • No doubt, Tom Jones often turns out badly, but Master Blifil always does, -- a fact which Mr. Abbott would do well to note and perpend.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 28, February, 1860

  • But I sought farther till I found this Scripture also, which I would have those perpend who have striven to turn our Israel aside to the worship of strange gods: -- "If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?"

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862

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