• synonyms


[pan-i-kuh l]
noun Botany.
  1. a compound raceme.
  2. any loose, diversely branching flower cluster.
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Origin of panicle

1590–1600; < Latin pānicula tuft (on plants), diminutive of pānus thread wound on a bobbin, a swelling, ear of millet < Doric Greek pânos (Attic pênos) a web; see -i-, -cle1
Related formspan·i·cled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for panicles

Historical Examples of panicles

  • The panicles of mahonia bloom were showing their gold color.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Panicles of flowers and fruit terminal; the berries striated.

  • Flowers small, white, in panicles or corymbs in late spring.

  • It has enormous leaves, and small whitish flowers in panicles.

    The Wild Garden

    William Robinson

  • It has large pinnate leaves, and panicles of purple flowers.

    Fruits of the Hawaiian Islands

    Gerrit Parmile Wilder

British Dictionary definitions for panicles


  1. a compound raceme, occurring esp in grasses
  2. any branched inflorescence
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Derived Formspanicled, adjective

Word Origin for panicle

C16: from Latin pānicula tuft, diminutive of panus thread, ultimately from Greek penos web; related to penion bobbin
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

panicles in Science


  1. A branched indeterminate inflorescence in which the branches are racemes, so that each flower has its own stalk (called a pedicel) attached to the branch. Oats and sorghum have panicles. See illustration at inflorescence.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.