• synonyms


  1. a large, broad-bladed African knife used as a weapon or as an implement for cutting heavy jungle growth, sugar cane, etc.; machete.
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Origin of panga

Borrowed into English from Swahili around 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for panga

Historical Examples

  • Every porter had a red blanket, and practically every one wore a panga.

    Cupid in Africa

    P. C. Wren

  • At Panga Falls three men were most seriously hurt by arrows.

  • The only provocation we suffered was from the attacks of the tsetse, or panga (sword) fly, which swarmed here.

    How I Found Livingstone

    Henry M. Stanley

  • The officers, including the Commander, also waited stiffly at attention while the fisherman tied his panga to the ship's ladder.

    Secret Armies

    John L. Spivak

British Dictionary definitions for panga


  1. a broad heavy knife of E Africa, used as a tool or weapon
  2. US a small fishing boat first developed in Japan and now used chiefly in US and Central American waters
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Word Origin

from a native E African word. The panga boat is so called because it resembles the knife in shape
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