from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To succeed.
  • Slang, U. S. To turn out (profitably or unprofitably); to result; to develop.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To separate and recover (valuable minerals) by swirling dirt or crushed rock in a pan of water, in the manner of a traditional prospector seeking gold.
  • verb idiomatic To succeed; to proceed according to plan; to result or end up.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb wash dirt in a pan to separate out the precious minerals
  • verb be a success


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  • JM tried gold prospecting but it didn't pan out.

    June 27, 2011