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[pen-uh n] /ˈpɛn ən/
a distinctive flag in any of various forms, as tapering, triangular, or swallow-tailed, formerly one borne on the lance of a knight.
a pennant.
any flag or banner.
a wing or pinion.
Origin of pennon
1325-75; Middle English penon < Middle French, augmentative of Old French pene < Latin penna or pinna feather. See pen1
Related forms
pennoned, adjective
unpennoned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pennon
Historical Examples
  • Close by the stern stood Black Simon with the pennon of the house of Loring.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • What is the use of a shield on a wall, or a lance that has a cobweb for a pennon?

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • He needed his Squire at his side, for his pennon was in the breeze once more.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The banner of the Cid was green, Miss Adister: or else it's his pennon that was.

  • The pennon is a small, narrow flag, forked or swallow-tailed at its extremity.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
  • The Englishman deliberately omits the capture of the pennon.

  • The triangular pennon occurs in many of the groups of the Painted Chamber.

  • Each lance for each man of the three doth its own pennon bear.

    The Lay of the Cid R. Selden Rose
  • A banner or pennon,” said the warder; “methinks he rides like the young Baron.

    The Little Duke Charlotte M. Yonge
  • “Frenetic to be free,” like the pennon, is in this sense the concentration of its meaning.

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
British Dictionary definitions for pennon


a long flag, often tapering and rounded, divided, or pointed at the end, originally a knight's personal flag
a small tapering or triangular flag borne on a ship or boat
a poetic word for wing
Word Origin
C14: via Old French ultimately from Latin penna feather
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 pennon

long, narrow flag (often triangular or swallow-tailed), late 14c., from Old French penon "feathers of an arrow; streamer, flag, banner," from penne "feather," from Latin penna "feather" (see pen (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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