Origin of deadpan

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; dead + pan1
Related formsdead panner, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deadpan

Contemporary Examples of deadpan

Historical Examples of deadpan

  • Suzanne looked closely at him—he was so deadpan, it was hard to tell what was on his mind.


    Cory Doctorow

  • She continued to stare, deadpan and blank-eyed, with no answering flicker of a smile.

    The Stars, My Brothers

    Edmond Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for deadpan


adjective, adverb

with a deliberately emotionless face or mannerdeadpan humour
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

Word Origin and History for deadpan

1928, from dead (adj.) + pan (n.) in slang sense of "face."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper