1642, "during, in the process of," prep. formed from root of Fr. pendant
"during," lit. "hanging," prp. of pendere
"to hang, to suspend" (see pendant
). Meaning patterned on a secondary sense of L. pendente
"not decided," lit. "hanging," in legal phrase pendente lite
"while the suit is pending." Use of the prp. before nouns caused it to be regarded as a preposition.