[puh-nash, -nahsh]


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

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for panache

Contemporary Examples of panache

Historical Examples of panache

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for panache



a dashing manner; style; swaggerhe rides with panache
a feathered plume on a helmet

Word Origin for panache

C16: via French from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnāculum feather, from Latin pinna feather; compare Latin pinnāculum pinnacle
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 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