- a body so suspended from a fixed point as to move to and fro by the action of gravity and acquired momentum.
- Horology. a swinging lever, weighted at the lower end, for regulating the speed of a clock mechanism.
- something that tends to move from one position, condition, etc., to the opposite extreme and then back again: In a democratic society, the pendulum of political thought swings left and right.
Origin of pendulum
Examples from the Web for pendulum
But gerrymandering has cold cocked the pendulum weight, stopped it dead.Up to a Point: In Defense of Lobbyists
P. J. O’Rourke
October 25, 2014
The pendulum swing between moods and tone, however, became a staple of the shoot.How Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Pulled Off Their Most Dramatic Roles Yet
September 12, 2014
I think the pendulum has swung back on that because of books like The Blood Telegram.The Real Legacy of Richard Nixon
August 5, 2014
The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction from physician paternalism towards willful ignorance by patients.Why Smart People Are Dumb Patients
July 14, 2014
Shaked spoke in these generalities initially—referring to two sets of people, two polar opposites on a pendulum.Knesset Member Walks Back On Facebook Post Calling Palestinian Kids ‘Little Snakes’
July 11, 2014
But we cannot set up a pendulum to swing at the pole of the earth.
It had no effect upon the cries; no pendulum could be more regular.A Tale of Two Cities
Swinging went the pendulum in the window, and the wind roared in the chimney.
I need hardly say that I never set the pendulum swinging again.
Let them be what they might, the pendulum should wag, and have a fair chance of doing its best.
- a body mounted so that it can swing freely under the influence of gravity. It is either a bob hung on a light thread (simple pendulum) or a more complex structure (compound pendulum)
- such a device used to regulate a clockwork mechanism
- something that changes its position, attitude, etc fairly regularlythe pendulum of public opinion
Word Origin and History for pendulum
1660, from Modern Latin pendulum (1643), noun use of neuter of Latin adjective pendulus "hanging down," from pendere "to hang" (see pendant). The Modern Latin word is perhaps a Latinization of Italian pendolo.
- A mass hung from a fixed support so that it is able to swing freely under the influence of gravity. Since the motion of pendulums is regular and periodic, they are often used to regulate the action of various devices, especially clocks.