October 05, 2011
- pensive (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : dreamily thoughtful2 : suggestive of sad thoughtfulness
- How do you use it?
- For the first few days after the start of school, Jarrod sat at his desk with a pensive expression, reflecting on a lazy summer spent at the beach.
- Are you a word wiz?
What do you think the root word of "pensive" means?The Latin verb "pendere" had two meanings, "to weigh," and "to pay." "Pensare," a form of "pendere," took on the meaning "to ponder," or weigh in the mind, and became the root of "pensive" and of the verb "poise," which means "to balance." The "pay" sense of "pendere" developed into the word "pension," a sum regularly paid to a person upon retirement. It also produced "dispense," meaning to give out something, and "stipend," a sum of money paid at regular times for services or expenses.