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[puh-nash, -nahsh] /pəˈnæʃ, -ˈnɑʃ/
a grand or flamboyant manner; verve; style; flair:
The actor who would play Cyrano must have panache.
an ornamental plume of feathers, tassels, or the like, especially one worn on a helmet or cap.
Architecture. the surface of a pendentive.
Origin of panache
early Italian
1545-55; variant (after F) of pennache < Middle French < early Italian pennachio < Late Latin pinnāculum, diminutive of pinna wing; identical in form with pinnāculum pinnacle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for panache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • panache d'Orlans, flesh, striped with rose and purple, distinct.

    The Book of Roses Francis Parkman
  • Now, what is this panache upon which "Cyrano" sets such a high value?

    Cyrano de Bergerac Edmond Rostand
  • The representative of the panache among them was essentially Murat.

    Cyrano de Bergerac Edmond Rostand
  • Thereupon he arose, and transferred the panache from his head to Hualpas.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • Where two colors are used they are panache; if three, they are neapolitan.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
British Dictionary definitions for panache


/pəˈnæʃ; -ˈnɑːʃ/
a dashing manner; style; swagger: he rides with panache
a feathered plume on a helmet
Word Origin
C16: via French from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnāculum feather, from Latin pinna feather; compare Latin pinnāculumpinnacle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for panache

1550s, "a tuft or plume of feathers," from Middle French pennache "tuft of feathers," from Italian pennaccio, from Late Latin pinnaculum "small wing, gable, peak" (see pinnacle). Figurative sense of "display, swagger" first recorded 1898 (in translation of "Cyrano de Bergerac"), from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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