[ pen-den-tiv ]
/ pɛnˈdɛn tɪv /

noun Architecture.

any of several spandrels, in the form of spherical triangles, forming a transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of the supporting masonry.
any of several masonry devices, as squinches or trompes, for forming a transition between a circular or polygonal construction, as a dome or lantern, and supporting masonry of a different plan.


functioning as, or substituting for, a pendentive: pendentive corbeling.

Origin of pendentive

1720–30; pendent + -ive, modeled on French pendentif Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pendentive

British Dictionary definitions for pendentive


/ (pɛnˈdɛntɪv) /


any of four triangular sections of vaulting with concave sides, positioned at a corner of a rectangular space to support a circular or polygonal dome

Word Origin for pendentive

C18: from French pendentif, from Latin pendens hanging, from pendere to hang
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pendentive



1727, from French pendentif (mid-16c.), from Latin pendentem (nominative pendens) "hanging," present participle of pendere "to hang" (see pendent (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper