Definition of Pendulum

1. Noun. An apparatus consisting of an object mounted so that it swings freely under the influence of gravity.

Generic synonyms: Apparatus, Setup
Terms within: Bob
Specialized synonyms: Foucault Pendulum, Metronome, Compound Pendulum, Physical Pendulum, Simple Pendulum

Definition of Pendulum

1. n. A body so suspended from a fixed point as to swing freely to and fro by the alternate action of gravity and momentum. It is used to regulate the movements of clockwork and other machinery.

Definition of Pendulum

1. Noun. 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 such as clocks. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Pendulum

1. a type of free swinging body [n -S] : PENDULAR [adj]

Medical Definition of Pendulum

1. Origin: NL, fr. L. Pendulus hanging, swinging. See Pendulous. A body so suspended from a fixed point as to swing freely to and fro by the alternate action of gravity and momentum. It is used to regulate the movements of clockwork and other machinery. The time of oscillation of a pendulum is independent of the arc of vibration, provided this arc be small. Ballistic pendulum. See Ballistic. Compensation pendulum, a clock pendulum in which the effect of changes of temperature of the length of the rod is so counteracted, usually by the opposite expansion of differene metals, that the distance of the center of oscillation from the center of suspension remains invariable; as, the mercurial compensation pendulum, in which the expansion of the rod is compensated by the opposite expansion of mercury in a jar constituting the bob; the gridiron pendulum, in which compensation is effected by the opposite expansion of sets of rodsof different metals. Compound pendulum, an ordinary pendulum; so called, as being made up of different parts, and contrasted with simple pendulum. Conical or Revolving, pendulum, a weight connected by a rod with a fixed point; and revolving in a horizontal cyrcle about the vertical from that point. Pendulum bob, the weight at the lower end of a pendulum. Pendulum level, a plumb level. See Level. Pendulum wheel, the balance of a watch. Simple or Theoretical, pendulum, an imaginary pendulum having no dimensions except length, and no weight except at the center of oscillation; in other words, a material point suspended by an ideal line. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Pendulum Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Pendulum

pendulous heart
pendulous palate
pendulum (current term)
pendulum clock
pendulum rhythm
pendulum watch

Literary usage of Pendulum

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1919)
"The length of the seconds-pendulum at Hammerfest is therefore ... The seconds-pendulum was useful only in clocks of large size, like the so-called ..."

2. Science by American Association for the Advancement of Science (1917)
"ALFRED C. LANE TUFTS COLLEGE SPECIAL ARTICLES EXPERIMENTS WITH A FOCAULT pendulum In the issue of SCIENCE for March 16, last Dr. Carl Barus, under the above ..."

3. The Journal of Physiology by Physiological Society (Great Britain). (1880)
"Our pendulum is made entirely of heavy plate-glass, in one sheet. ... Attached to this strip, just below the pendulum, is a wooden stage bearing the ..."

4. Journal by Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain) (1873)
"What Kater did was to design a pendulum, of which this is a copy. It was from a pendulum like this that not only was the force of gravity determined in all ..."

5. A Short History of Astronomy by Arthur Berry (1899)
"This was the invention of the pendulum-clock (made 1656, patented in 1657). ... Galilei's pendulum, however, could only be used for measuring very short ..."

6. The California earthquake of April 18, 1906: Report of the state earthquake by Andrew Cowper Lawson, Harry Fielding Reid (1910)
"The pendulum has a more uniform magnifying power for waves of different periods, and it takes up the true movement more quickly. The curves in fig. ..."

7. A Text-book of Physics: Including a Collection of Examples and Questions by William Watson (1920)
"Simple pendulum.—A heavy particle suspended by a perfectly flexible weightless thread forms what is called a simple pendulum. Although it is impossible ..."

8. The American Journal of Psychology by Granville Stanley Hall, Edward Bradford Titchener (1904)
"The cardboard is cut in the form of an arc of a circle whose radius is the length of the metronome pendulum. Scale divisions of 5° are laid off on the ..."

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