• synonyms


[pen-sahyl, -sil]
See more synonyms for pensile on Thesaurus.com
  1. hanging, as the nests of certain birds.
  2. building a hanging nest.
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Origin of pensile

1595–1605; < Latin pēnsilis hanging down, equivalent to pēns(us) past participle of pendēre to hang (equivalent to pend- verb stem + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > s) + -ilis -ile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

drooping, jutting, pendulous, projecting, suspended, beetling, pendent, swinging

Examples from the Web for pensile

Historical Examples

  • They were of the species known as the “pensile weaver-bird” (Ploceus pensilis).

    The Bush Boys

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • They were of the species known as the “pensile weaver-bird.”

  • There it hung, like a hermits beard, from the pensile branch.

    Pictures of Southern Life

    William Howard Russell

  • Be careful to distinguish between pencil, an instrument for writing, and pensile, meaning hanging down.

  • Other species of Polybia build nests different in shape and arrangement, though still of the pensile character.

British Dictionary definitions for pensile


  1. ornithol designating or building a hanging nestpensile birds
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Derived Formspensility (pɛnˈsɪlɪtɪ) or pensileness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin pensilis hanging down, from pendēre 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