1. while awaiting; until: pending his return.
  2. in the period before the decision or conclusion of; during: pending the negotiations.


  1. remaining undecided; awaiting decision or settlement; unfinished: pending business; pending questions; pending litigation.
  2. about to take place; impending.

verb (used without object)

  1. to remain undecided or unsettled.
  2. to hang.
  3. Obsolete. to depend.


  1. while waiting for or anticipating

adjective (postpositive)

  1. not yet decided, confirmed, or finishedwhat are the matters pending?
  2. imminentthese developments have been pending for some time

verb (intr)

  1. to await judgment or settlement
  2. dialect to hang; depend


  1. Scot an archway or vaulted passage

prep.1640s, “during, in the process of,” preposition formed from root of French pendant “during,” literally “hanging,” present participle of pendere “to hang, to suspend” (see pendant). Meaning patterned on a secondary sense of Latin pendente “not decided,” literally “hanging,” in legal phrase pendente lite “while the suit is pending.” Use of the present participle before nouns caused it to be regarded as a preposition. As an adjective from 1797. v.c.1500, “to depend, to hang,” from French pendre, from Late Latin pendere “to hang” (see pendant). In some cases short for depend.

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