Penchant vs pension

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Penchant and pension are two words that are close in pronunciation and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of penchant and pension, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A penchant is a tendency to do something, or a strong affinity for something or fondness for something. Penchant is a noun, derived from the Old French word pencher, meaning to incline, which in turn was derived from the Latin word pendēre which means to be suspended or to hang.

A pension is a recurring payment made to someone who has retired from daily work. A pension may be paid by a government, private company or investment fund that the person has maintained during his working years. The word pension is derived from the Old French word pension, meaning rent or a payment, which in turn was derived from the Latin word pensionem meaning payment or rent.


In Missouri, open government advocates say Greitens’ penchant for secrecy is equally troubling, and can have a corrosive effect on taxpayers’ faith in government. (The Kansas City Star)

A museum with a penchant for nostalgia hopes to relocate the Des Plaines McDonald’s museum some 30 miles northwest in an effort to save it. (The Chicago Daily Herald)

Canadian’s penchant for extended amortizations is one that’s both costing and saving them a whackload of money. (The Globe and Mail)

Head and a variety of groups, including the Bureau of Governmental Research, have been urging changes to the city’s pension system for years. (The New Orleans Advocate)

People with this type of pension, which pay a guaranteed inflation-proofed income for life, have the right to swap their entitlement for a lump sum that they can move into a “defined contribution” plan. (The Telegraph)