Origin of pendulumModern Latin from neuter of Classical Latin pendulus: see pendulous
A pendulum in an old fashioned clock.
- The weights fixed to a pivot point on the end of a chain in a grandfather clock that pivot back and forth to help regulate the clock mechanism is an example of a pendulum.
- When popular home furniture styles shift from modern to traditional and back again, this is an example of the pendulum of taste.
- 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 .
- Something that swings back and forth from one course, opinion, or condition to another: the pendulum of public opinion.
Origin of pendulumNew Latin probably from Italian pendolo pendulous, pendulum from Latin pendulus hanging ; see pendulous .
(plural pendulums or pendula) (See usage notes.)
The plural form pendula is significantly rarer than pendulums; see etymology at pendula for details. However, pendula is occasionally used in physics.
Neuter of Latin pendulus, "hanging".
- The pendulum has swung back.
- And then he walked away, his shoulders swaying like a pendulum with his stride.
- The times were measured by pendulum clocks.
- For small earthquakes, in which the movement is rapid, the bob of a very long and heavy pendulum will practically comply with these conditions.
- His application of the pendulum to regulate the movement of clocks sprang from his experience of the need for an exact measure of time in observing the heavens.