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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pendulous \Pen"du*lous\, a. [L. pendulus, fr. pendere to hang. Cf. Pendant, and cf. Pendulum.]

  1. Depending; pendent loosely; hanging; swinging.
    --Shak. ``The pendulous round earth.''

  2. Wavering; unstable; doubtful. [R.] ``A pendulous state of mind.''

  3. (Bot.) Inclined or hanging downwards, as a flower on a recurved stalk, or an ovule which hangs from the upper part of the ovary.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from Latin pendulus "hanging down," figuratively "doubtful, uncertain, hesitating," from pendere "to hang" (see pendant) + -ous. Related: Pendulously; pendulousness.


a. 1 hanging as if from a support 2 indecisive or hesitant 3 (context biology English) having branches etc. that bend downwards; drooping or weeping


adj. having branches or flower heads that bend downward; "nodding daffodils"; "the pendulous branches of a weeping willow"; "lilacs with drooping panicles of fragrant flowers" [syn: cernuous, drooping, nodding]

Usage examples of "pendulous".

There enters a square old man, with a red, pendulous jawed, shaking face under a snow besprinkled bowler hat.

Thorntis walked to Pelly, put out his hand and cupped her pendulous breast.

He jumped, and a second or two later his pendulous breasts jumped, which meant that when Speedo Guy was coming down, his breasts were still going up and appeared to be assaulting him.

It was the first light of day now and in that first light, Will viewed the full grotesquery of Mr Joseph Carey Merrick: the horrible pendulous flaps and folds of skin, the spongiform eruptions, the grubby underwear.

She was only about twenty yards from him now and he could see her plainly, the wild white hair, the nightdress sticking to her body, the swinging, pendulous breasts, the arms with their weals of crepy skin.

Prew grinned after him and went back to scrubbing down, feeling good now, feeling really fine, feeling wonderful, with the ferriswheel sickishness coming in his belly and the heavy, pendulous, full bellying swinging maleness rising, and with Maggio waiting on him in the Dayroom to play pool.

She was extremely ugly, and when on all fours, with her breasts pendulous, she resembled a beast.

Reaching under the slightly pendulous tits, he pushed upward until the almost flaccid flesh slipped off his palms and slapped back at her chest.

She saw the big pendulous folded-over shapes of cocooned people, inert and black.

He sat looking at plaster sundaes, his lower lip pendulous with thought.

It was larger than the Blue Pearl, a cluster of bulbous, pendulous shapes, spiny with commo and detector vibrissae and armament.

What failed to assist matters was that the car's pendulous progress felt arbitrary, as if it was just making up its trajectory as it proceeded, luckily finding cables when it needed them.

Furthermore, there was the danger of such diseases as coccidiosis, demodectic mange, bloat, and foot rot, not to mention birth defects such as sprung pasterns, pendulous udder, blind teat, leaking orifice, and hermaphroditism.

This is evident from his frequent references to women as "skeletal" or "the thinnest of the thin like a little eel" and in the big women with wide hips and grotesquely pendulous breasts that he repeatedly depicts in his art.

The day-to-day running of the ship was left to her daughter, Aguilar, who combined the offices of bosun and purser, and Captain Lorquital habitually sat in a sling chair by the helm, puffing a corncob pipe, stately in a billowing long skirt and leather tabard, her well-muscled arms bare, a red handkerchief knotted under her pendulous jowls.