[ ded-pan ]
See synonyms for: deadpandeadpans on

  1. marked by or accomplished with a careful pretense of seriousness or calm detachment; impassive or expressionless: deadpan humor.

  2. displaying no emotional or personal involvement: a deadpan style.

  1. in a deadpan manner: He spoke his lines utterly deadpan.

verb (used with or without object),dead·panned, dead·pan·ning.
  1. to behave or perform in a deadpan manner.

nounAlso dead pan .
  1. a face showing no expression.

  2. a style of comedy that relies on the comedian's maintaining such a face.

Origin of deadpan

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30; dead + pan1 (in the slang sense “face”)

word story For deadpan

Deadpan is an Americanism from the 1920s. Around that time, pan was emerging as a slang term meaning “the face,” probably due to a similarity in shape to a frying pan. When your face is deadpan, it's expressionless, as if you were dead.

Other words from deadpan

  • dead panner, noun

Words Nearby deadpan Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use deadpan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deadpan


/ (ˈdɛdˌpæn) /

adjective, adverb
  1. with a deliberately emotionless face or manner: deadpan 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