/pen den"tiv/, n. Archit.
1. any of several spandrels, in the form of spherical triangles, forming a transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of the supporting masonry.
2. any of several masonry devices, as squinches or trompes, for forming a transition between a circular or polygonal construction, as a dome or lantern, and supporting masonry of a different plan.
3. functioning as, or substituting for, a pendentive: pendentive corbeling.
[1720-30; PENDENT + -IVE, modeled on F pendentif]

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In architecture, a triangular segment of a spherical surface that forms the transition between the circular plan of a dome and the polygonal plan of its supporting structure.

The problem of placing a round dome on a square base assumed growing importance to Roman builders, but it remained for Byzantine architects to recognize the possibilities of the pendentive and fully develop it (see Hagia Sophia). One of the great architectural inventions of all time, the pendentive became very important in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. As a result of Byzantine influence, pendentives are also frequent in Islamic architecture. The vaulting form in which the curve of the pendentive and dome is continuous is known as a pendentive dome.

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 in architecture, a triangular segment of a spherical surface, filling in the upper corners of a room, in order to form, at the top, a circular support for a dome. The challenge of supporting a dome over an enclosed square or polygonal space assumed growing importance to the Roman builders of the late empire. It remained for Byzantine architects, however, to recognize the possibilities of the pendentive and fully develop it. One of the earliest examples of the use of the pendentive is also one of the largest—that of Hagia Sophia (completed AD 537) at Istanbul.

      Pendentives are common in the Romanesque domed churches of the Aquitaine in France, as in Saint-Front at Perigueux (begun 1120) and the cathedral of Saint-Pierre at Angoulême (1105–28), but they occur only occasionally in Italian churches. During the Renaissance and the Baroque the preference for domed churches, especially in Roman Catholic Europe and Latin America, gave great importance to the pendentive. As a result of Byzantine influence, pendentives are frequently used in Islamic architecture. They are often decorated with stalactite work or sometimes, as in Iran, with delicate ribbing.

      A vaulting form in which the curve of the pendentive and dome is continuous, without a break, is known as a pendentive dome. See also dome; squinch.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Pendentive — Pen*den tive, n. [F. pendentif, fr. L. pendere to hang.] (Arch.) (a) The portion of a vault by means of which the square space in the middle of a building is brought to an octagon or circle to receive a cupola. (b) The part of a groined vault… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pendentive — 1727, from Fr. pendentif (mid 16c.), from L. pendentem “hanging” (see PENDENT (Cf. pendent) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pendentive — [pen den′tiv] n. [Fr pendentif < L pendens, prp. of pendere, to hang: see PENDANT] Archit. one of the triangular pieces of vaulting springing from the corners of a rectangular area, serving to support a rounded or polygonal dome: usually… …   English World dictionary

  • Pendentive — A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room. The pendentives, which are triangular segments of a sphere, taper to points at the bottom and spread …   Wikipedia

  • Pendentive —    Pendentives are the triangular curving segments that support a dome and transfer its weight to the pillars below. They were introduced by Byzantine architects who first used it on a large scale at Hagia Sophia in today s Istanbul. Its use… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Pendentive —    Spherical triangles of brick or stone that fill in the corners of four arches to create a continuous surface for the base for a dome (q.v.) to rest on. It solves the problem, as does the squinch (q.v.), of how to put a round dome over a square …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • pendentive — noun Etymology: French pendentif, from Latin pendent , pendens, present participle of pendēre Date: circa 1741 one of the concave triangular members that support a dome over a square space …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pendentive — noun The concave triangular sections of vaulting that provide the transition between a dome and the square base on which it is set and transfer the weight of the dome. <! from wikipedia Dome article …   Wiktionary

  • pendentive —    A concave, triangular piece of masonry (a triangle section of a hemisphere), four of which provide the transition from a square area to the circular base of a covering dome. Although they appear to be hanging (pendant) from the dome, they in… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • pendentive — [pɛn dɛntɪv] noun Architecture a curved triangle of vaulting formed by the intersection of a dome with its supporting arches. Origin C18: from the Fr. adjective pendentif, ive, from L. pendent , pendere hang down …   English new terms dictionary

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