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Borrowed from French penchant, present participle of pencher (to tilt, to lean), from Middle French, from Old French pengier (to tilt, be out of line), from Vulgar Latin *pendicāre, a derivative of Latin pendere (to hang).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɒnʃɒn/, [ˈpɑ̃ʃɑ̃]
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɛnt͡ʃənt/
  • Rhymes: -ɒnʃɒn, -ɛntʃənt


penchant (countable and uncountable, plural penchants)

  1. Taste, liking, or inclination (for).
    He has a penchant for fine wine.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 264:
      Marie even then began the course which, in after-years, secured her so vast an influence in the court,—alternately taking up and laying down her claim to the youthful monarch's penchant; administering to his amusement, and ready to encourage his passing fancies.
    • 1960 October, “New reading on railways”, in Trains Illustrated, page 640:
      THE LONDON & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY. By O. S. Nock. Ian Allan. 30s.
      [...] One scarcely imagined, for example, that the great steel works at Crewe owed its existence to Sir Richard Moon's penchant for the principle of "Do it yourself", a principle born of a methodical, economical and far-seeing mind.
    • 2019, Idles, "Never Fight a Man With a Perm", Joy as an Act of Resistance.
      I said I've got a penchant for smokes and kicking douches in the mouth / Sadly for you my last cigarette's gone out
    • 2021 September 22, Stephen Roberts, “The writings on the wall...”, in RAIL, number 940, page 74:
      Just like Marple, there's a plaque at the London terminus [Paddington] commemorating a fictional character - a polite, friendly little bear from darkest Peru who has a penchant for marmalade sarnies.
  2. (card games, uncountable) A card game resembling bezique.
  3. (card games) In the game of penchant, any queen and jack of different suits held at the same time.


Related terms[edit]




penchant m (plural penchants)

  1. penchant



  1. present participle of pencher

Further reading[edit]