If something is supposed to happen but hasn’t happened yet, it is pending, like the pending snowstorm that has everyone scrambling to the store for bread and milk.

The word pending comes from the French pendant, meaning “hanging.” If someone leaves you hanging, you are waiting for a call, a message, a visit — whatever the thing is that's supposed to happen. Pending is a good word to use when something has to happen before something else — like if you are learning to drive, maybe you'll have a car of your own soon, pending your success at passing the test.

Definitions of pending

adj awaiting conclusion or confirmation

“business still pending
not brought to an end or conclusion

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.