pan

1
[ pan ]
See synonyms for pan on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a broad, shallow container of metal, usually having sides flaring outward toward the top, used in various forms for frying, baking, washing, etc.

  2. any similar receptacle or part, as the scales of a balance.

  1. the amount a pan holds or can hold; panful: a pan of shelled peas.

  2. any of various open or closed containers used in industrial or mechanical processes.

  3. a container in which silver ores are ground and amalgamated.

  4. a container in which gold or other heavy, valuable metals are separated from gravel or other substances by agitation with water.

  5. a drifting piece of flat, thin ice, as formed on a shore or bay.

  6. a natural depression in the ground, as one containing water, mud, or mineral salts.

  7. a similar depression made artificially, as for evaporating salt water to make salt.

  8. (in old guns) the depressed part of the lock, holding the priming.

  9. Also pan·ning . an unfavorable review, critique, or appraisal: The show got one rave and three pans.

  10. Slang. the face.

verb (used with object),panned, pan·ning.
  1. Informal. to criticize severely, as in a review of a play.

    • to wash (gravel, sand, etc.) in a pan to separate gold or other heavy, valuable metal.

    • to separate (gold or other heavy, valuable metal) from gravel or sand in this way.

  1. to cook or bake in a pan.

verb (used without object),panned, pan·ning.
  1. to wash gravel, sand, etc., in a pan in seeking gold or the like.

  2. to yield gold or the like, as gravel washed in a pan.

Verb Phrases
  1. pan out, Informal. to turn out, especially successfully: The couple's reconciliation just didn't pan out.

Origin of pan

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English panne; cognate with Dutch pan, German Pfanne, Old Norse panna; further origin uncertain, perhaps from assumed Vulgar Latin patna, panna “pan,” from Latin patena, patina “shallow dish, shallow pan, stewpan,” from Greek patánē “dish, flat dish.” Pan, in the sense “face,” is an Americanism first recorded in 1920–25; see origin at paten

Other words from pan

  • pan·ner, noun

Words Nearby pan

Other definitions for pan (2 of 8)

pan2
[ pan ]

verb (used without object),panned, pan·ning.
  1. to film, photograph, or televise something with the camera fixed in place and pivoted horizontally left or right, in order to keep a moving person or object in view or to capture a wide view: They usually pan from one end of the playing field to the other during the opening of the football game.

  2. (of a camera) to be pivoted horizontally to the right or left from a fixed place in order to keep a moving person or object in view or to capture a wide view: The cameras panned occasionally during the scene.

verb (used with object),panned, pan·ning.
  1. to pivot (a camera) on its horizontal axis in order to follow a moving person or thing, or to capture an extended view: to pan the camera across the scene.

  2. to photograph, film, or televise (a scene, moving character, etc.) by pivoting the camera on its horizontal axis:pan the skyline.

  1. Audio. to direct (a signal output) to one of the speakers in a sound system, to a point between speakers, or, especially, through a continuum from one side to the other to create the impression that the source is moving: They gradually panned the vocal recording from the right to the left channel as the song progressed.

noun
  1. the act of pivoting a camera, which is fixed in place, to the left or right.

  2. Also called panning shot . the filmed shot resulting from this.

Origin of pan

2
First recorded in 1920–25; shortening of panorama

Other definitions for pan (3 of 8)

pan3
[ pan ]

noun
  1. a major vertical division of a wall.

  2. a nogged panel of half-timber construction.

Origin of pan

3
First recorded in 1735–45; from French, Middle French; see origin at pane

Other definitions for pan (4 of 8)

pan4
[ pahn ]

noun
  1. the leaf of the betel.

  2. a substance, especially betel nut or a betel-nut mixture, used for chewing.

Origin of pan

4
First recorded in 1610–20; from Hindi pān; compare Pali, Prakrit paṇṇa, Sanskrit parṇa “leaf, betel leaf”

Other definitions for pan (5 of 8)

pan5
[ pahn ]

nounInformal.

Origin of pan

5
First recorded in 1935–40; by shortening

Other definitions for Pan (6 of 8)

Pan
[ pan ]

noun
  1. the ancient Greek god of forests, pastures, flocks, and shepherds, represented with the head, chest, and arms of a man and the legs and sometimes the horns and ears of a goat.

Other definitions for pan- (7 of 8)

pan-

  1. a combining form meaning “all,” occurring originally in loanwords from Greek (panacea; panoply), but now used freely as a general formative (panleukopenia; panorama; pantelegraph; pantheism; pantonality), and especially in terms, formed at will, implying the union of all branches of a group (Pan-Christian; Panhellenic; Pan-Slavism). The hyphen and the second capital tend with longer use to be lost, unless they are retained in order to set off clearly the component parts.

Origin of pan-

7
<Greek pan- combining form of pâs (neuter pân) all, every, pân everything

Other definitions for Pan. (8 of 8)

Pan.

abbreviation
  1. Panama.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pan (1 of 6)

pan1

/ (pæn) /


noun
    • a wide metal vessel used in cooking

    • (in combination): saucepan

  1. Also called: panful the amount such a vessel will hold

  1. any of various similar vessels used esp in industry, as for boiling liquids

  2. a dish used by prospectors, esp gold prospectors, for separating a valuable mineral from the gravel or earth containing it by washing and agitating

  3. either of the two dishlike receptacles on a balance

  4. Also called: lavatory pan British the bowl of a lavatory

    • a natural or artificial depression in the ground where salt can be obtained by the evaporation of brine

    • a natural depression containing water or mud

  5. Caribbean the indented top from an oil drum used as the treble drum in a steel band

  6. a small ice floe

  7. a slang word for face (def. 1a)

  8. a small cavity containing priming powder in the locks of old guns

  9. a hard substratum of soil

  10. short for pan loaf

verbpans, panning or panned
  1. (when tr, often foll by off or out) to wash (gravel) in a pan to separate particles of (valuable minerals) from it

  2. (intr often foll by out) (of gravel) to yield valuable minerals by this process

  1. (tr) informal to criticize harshly: the critics panned his new play

Origin of pan

1
Old English panne; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse panna, Old High German pfanna

British Dictionary definitions for pan (2 of 6)

pan2

/ (pæn) /


verbpans, panning or panned
  1. to move (a film camera) or (of a film camera) to be moved so as to follow a moving object or obtain a panoramic effect

noun
    • the act of panning

    • (as modifier): a pan shot

Origin of pan

2
C20: shortened from panoramic

British Dictionary definitions for pan (3 of 6)

pan3

paan (pɑːn)

/ (pæn) /


noun
  1. the leaf of the betel tree

  2. a preparation of this leaf which is chewed, together with betel nuts and lime, in India and the East Indies

Origin of pan

3
C17: from Hindi, from Sanskrit parna feather, wing, leaf

British Dictionary definitions for Pan (4 of 6)

Pan

/ (pæn) /


noun
  1. Greek myth the god of fields, woods, shepherds, and flocks, represented as a man with a goat's legs, horns, and ears: Related adjectives: Pandean, Panic

British Dictionary definitions for pan- (5 of 6)

pan-

combining form
  1. all or every: panchromatic

  2. including or relating to all parts or members: Pan-African; pantheistic

Origin of pan-

5
from Greek pan, neuter of pas all

British Dictionary definitions for Pan. (6 of 6)

Pan.

abbreviation for
  1. Panama

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

Cultural definitions for Pan

Pan

The Greek god of flocks, forests, meadows, and shepherds. He had the horns and feet of a goat. Pan frolicked about the landscape, playing delightful tunes.

Notes for Pan

Pan's musical instrument was a set of reed pipes, the “pipes of Pan.”

Notes for Pan

According to legend, Pan was the source of scary noises in the wilderness at night. Fright at these noises was called “panic.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with pan

pan

In addition to the idiom beginning with pan

  • pan out

also see:

  • flash in the pan
  • out of the frying pan

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.