- The definition of a pendulum is an object that has been mounted to a fixed point that swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity, or the tendency of trends or situations to shift from one extreme to another.
- 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 pendulum in an old fashioned clock.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: ModL from neuter of Classical Latin pendulus: see pendulous
- pendular adjective
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- 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: New Latin, probably from Italian pendolo, pendulous, pendulum, from Latin pendulus, hanging; see pendulous.
pendulum - Science Definition
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