One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Mountaineering. A swinging movement used by a climber.
2More fully "pendule clock", a (usually small and ornamental) timepiece with a pendulum. Also more generally: any clock.
with object (refl.). To propel oneself by means of swinging. Also without object (Mountaineering): to perform a pendulum.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). In sense 1 probably from post-classical Latin pendulum hanging ornament, use as noun of neuter of classical Latin pendulus hanging down; compare French pendille<br>late 19th century; earliest use found in George MacDonald (1824–1905), poet and novelist. Perhaps from pendulum with omission of the ending. Compare French penduler. Compare slightly later pendulum.
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