Definition of pendentive in US English:



  • A curved triangle of vaulting formed by the intersection of a dome with its supporting arches.

    • ‘Convex looking glasses in each pendentive both explode and compress the space.’
    • ‘The spaces are called spandrels - or pendentives, but the more general architectural term is spandrels.’
    • ‘Two structural devices that are the hallmark of Byzantine engineering made this feat possible: pendentives and squinches.’
    • ‘Each storey is articulated by a balcony, projecting on a system of stalactite pendentives - this feature appearing for the first time in India and no doubt imported from classical Islamic construction.’
    • ‘His most important commission was for the apse and the pendentives beneath the cupola in; the dome was commissioned from his great rival, the Baroque painter.’


Early 18th century: from the French adjective pendentif, -ive, from Latin pendent- ‘hanging down’, from the verb pendere.