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[pen-den-tiv] /pɛnˈdɛn tɪv/
noun, Architecture
any of several spandrels, in the form of spherical triangles, forming a transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of the supporting masonry.
any of several masonry devices, as squinches or trompes, for forming a transition between a circular or polygonal construction, as a dome or lantern, and supporting masonry of a different plan.
functioning as, or substituting for, a pendentive:
pendentive corbeling.
Origin of pendentive
1720-30; pendent + -ive, modeled on French pendentif Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pendentive
  • Original coupled pendentive bracketing at the cornice is no longer extant.
  • Each bay has a flat circular ceiling on pendentive and a low drum.
  • There is a triangular panel in each pendentive and seven rectangular panels in each spandrel arch.
British Dictionary definitions for pendentive


any of four triangular sections of vaulting with concave sides, positioned at a corner of a rectangular space to support a circular or polygonal dome
Word Origin
C18: from French pendentif, from Latin pendens hanging, from pendere to hang
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 pendentive

1727, from French pendentif (mid-16c.), from Latin pendentem (nominative pendens) "hanging," present participle of pendere "to hang" (see pendent (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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