A pendulum is something hanging and swinging freely from a fixed point. A grandfather clock might use for timekeeping apendulum that swings back and forth.

  • Pronunciation: /ˈpendjʊləm/
  • English Description: a long metal stick with a weight at the bottom that swings regularly from side to side to control the working of a clock
  • Chinese Translation: 钟摆(Zhong1 Bai3)
  • Spanish Translation: péndulo
  • STORY: Pendulum comes from the Latin word pendulous, meaning "hanging down." If someone hangs a pocket watch in front of you and swings it back and forth, saying, "You're getting very sleepy," they're mimicking the movement of a pendulum. We also use the word pendulum to describe a situation moving between two poles or across a spectrum, like the balance of power in a multiparty political system.


  • "The chemistry Will and myself were able to tap into added for a different level of comedy, because it's almost like a pendulum," Hart said. Reuters Mar 24, 2015
  • They say that in education reform the pendulum swings back and forth every ten years or so.

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