from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To pivot a movie camera along a horizontal plane in order to follow an object or create a panoramic effect.
  • intransitive verb To pivot (a movie camera) in a specified direction.
  • noun A pivoting movement of a movie camera.
  • noun A shallow, wide, open container, usually of metal and without a lid, used for holding liquids, cooking, and other domestic purposes.
  • noun A vessel similar in form to a pan, especially.
  • noun An open metal dish used to separate gold or other metal from gravel or waste by washing.
  • noun Either of the receptacles on a balance or pair of scales.
  • noun A vessel used for boiling and evaporating liquids.
  • noun A basin or depression in the earth, often containing mud or water.
  • noun A natural or artificial basin used to obtain salt by evaporating brine.
  • noun Hardpan.
  • noun A freely floating piece of ice that has broken off a larger floe.
  • noun The small cavity in the lock of a flintlock used to hold powder.
  • noun Music A steel drum.
  • noun Slang The face.
  • noun Informal Severe criticism, especially a negative review.
  • intransitive verb To wash (gravel, for example) in a pan for gold or other precious metal.
  • intransitive verb To cook (food) in a pan.
  • intransitive verb Informal To criticize or review harshly.
  • intransitive verb To wash gravel, sand, or other sediment in a pan.
  • intransitive verb To yield gold as a result of washing in a pan.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In mining, to wash with the pan, as gravel or sands for the purpose of separating the gold or other thing of value they may contain: often with out.
  • To secure; catch; obtain.
  • To make an appearance or to come to view, as gold in a miner's pan when washed from impurities; hence to show a result; turn out more or less to one's satisfaction: followed by out.
  • noun A broad shallow vessel of tin, iron, or other metal, used for various domestic purposes: as, a frying-pan; a saucepan; a milk-pan.
  • noun An open vessel used in the arts and manufactures for boiling, evaporating, etc.: as, a sugar-pan; a salt-pan. The name is also applied to closed vessels used for similar purposes: as, a vacuum-pan.
  • noun In metallurgy, a pan-shaped vessel, usually made of cast-iron, from 4 to 6 feet in diameter and 3 or 4 feet deep, in which the ores of silver which have already undergone the stamping process are ground to a fine pulp and amalgamated, with the addition of various chemicals, generally sulphate of copper and salt.
  • noun In tin-plate manuf., a cold pot with a grating at the bottom, in which tinned iron-plate is put on edge to drain and cool. It is the fourth in the series of iron pots used in tin-plate manufacture.
  • noun The part of a flint-lock which holds the priming, communicating with the charge by means of the touch-hole. See cut under flint-lock.
  • noun Anything hollow shaped somewhat like a pan; hence, the skull; the upper part of the head; the cranium. Compare brainpan.
  • noun A pond or depression for evaporating salt water to make salt.
  • noun A natural pond of any size containing fresh or salt water, or only mud.
  • noun Consolidated material underlying the soil: used (especially in Scotland) for hard-pan.
  • noun In carpentry, the socket for a hinge.
  • noun In the arctic seas, a large heavy piece of floe-ice.
  • noun The broad posterior extremity of the lower jaw of a whale: a whalers' term.
  • noun A betel-leaf in which an areca-nut is wrapped to form a masticatory. See betel, areca-nut.
  • noun In mining, a hollow in the ground where the neck of a volcano formerly existed.
  • To broil or bake in a pan.
  • To pour with a pan.
  • To look for gold, using the method of washing the earth or crushed rock in the pan.
  • In agriculture, to harden and cake from the effect of hot sunshine following rain: said of the soil.
  • To join; close together.
  • To unite; fit; agree.
  • noun A square of framing in half-timbered houses. Gwilt.
  • noun A leaf of gold or silver.
  • noun In anc. Gr. myth., the god of pastures, forests, and flocks.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for panorama or panoramic.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English panne, from West Germanic *panna, probably from Vulgar Latin *patna, from Latin patina, shallow pan, platter, from Greek patanē; see petə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English panne, from Proto-Germanic *pannōn. Cognate with Dutch pan, German Pfanne.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From a clipped form of panorama.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word pan.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • god

    February 18, 2008

  • go for the gold?

    April 28, 2008

  • The action of rotating a camera about its vertical axis.

    July 4, 2008

  • Greek All.

    July 9, 2008