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[pen-chuh nt; French pahn-shahn] /ˈpɛn tʃənt; French pɑ̃ˈʃɑ̃/
a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something:
a penchant for outdoor sports.
Origin of penchant
1665-75; < French, noun use of present participle of pencher to incline, lean < Vulgar Latin *pendicāre, derivative of Latin pendēre to hang Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for penchant
  • Interdisciplinary programs with an increasing penchant for making humanities more 'applicable' might favor someone like you.
  • Her penchant for low-tech solo travel hearkens to an earlier era of exploration.
  • Human cooperation may have evolved out of a penchant for frequent warfare.
  • Even as a girl, Ursula had a penchant for tidiness.
  • You play: A know-it-all with a head for numbers and a penchant for gambling.
  • Oswald was unpleasant as well as unusual, with a penchant for putting his trash in his neighbors' garbage cans.
  • It was not his brainstorm to create his show; had it been, he might well have canceled it given his penchant for self-criticism.
  • Tunney also has a penchant for flipping restaurants nearly as quickly as he can flip a burger on a grill.
  • Mehta seems to have a penchant for appropriately timed publicity.
  • He also came from a downwardly mobile family and had a penchant for progressive political causes.
British Dictionary definitions for penchant


a strong inclination or liking; bent or taste
Word Origin
C17: from French, from pencher to incline, from Latin pendēre to be suspended
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for penchant

1670s, from French penchant, noun use of present participle of Old French pencher "to incline," from Vulgar Latin *pendicare, a frequentative formed from Latin pendere "to hang" (see pendant (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with penchant


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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