[pan] /pæn/

verb (used without object), panned, panning.
to photograph or televise while rotating a camera on its vertical or horizontal axis in order to keep a moving person or object in view or allow the film to record a :
to pan from one end of the playing field to the other during the opening of the football game.
(of a camera) to be moved or manipulated in such a manner:
The cameras panned occasionally during the scene.
verb (used with object), panned, panning.
to move (a camera) in such a manner:
to pan the camera across the scene.
to photograph or televise (a scene, moving character, etc.) by panning the camera.
the act of panning a camera.
Also called panning shot. the filmed shot resulting from this.

Also called panful. the amount such a vessel will hold
any of various similar vessels used esp in industry, as for boiling liquids
a dish used by prospectors, esp gold prospectors, for separating a valuable mineral from the gravel or earth containing it by washing and agitating
either of the two dishlike receptacles on a balance
(Brit) Also called lavatory pan. the bowl of a lavatory

(Caribbean) the indented top from an oil drum used as the treble drum in a steel band
See hardpan, brainpan
a small ice floe
a slang word for face (sense 1a)
a small cavity containing priming powder in the locks of old guns
a hard substratum of soil
short for pan loaf
verb pans, panning, panned
when tr, often foll by off or out. to wash (gravel) in a pan to separate particles of (valuable minerals) from it
(intransitive) often foll by out. (of gravel) to yield valuable minerals by this process
(transitive) (informal) to criticize harshly: the critics panned his new play
verb pans, panning, panned
to move (a film camera) or (of a film camera) to be moved so as to follow a moving object or obtain a panoramic effect

the leaf of the betel tree
a preparation of this leaf which is chewed, together with betel nuts and lime, in India and the East Indies
(Greek myth) the god of fields, woods, shepherds, and flocks, represented as a man with a goat’s legs, horns, and ears related adjectives Pandean Panic

Old English panne, earlier ponne (Mercian) “pan,” from West Germanic *panna “pan” (cf. Old Norse panna, Old Frisian panne, Middle Dutch panne, Dutch pan, Old Low German panna, Old High German phanna, German pfanne), probably an early borrowing (4c. or 5c.) from Vulgar Latin *patna, from Latin patina “shallow pan, dish, stewpan,” from Greek patane “plate, dish,” from PIE *pet-ano-, from root *pete- “to spread” (see pace (n.)). Irish panna probably is from English, and Lithuanian pana is from German.

Used of pan-shaped parts of mechanical apparatus from c.1590; hence flash in the pan, a figurative use from early firearms, where a pan held the priming (and the gunpowder might “flash,” but no shot ensue). To go out of the (frying) pan into the fire is first found in Spenser (1596).

“to wash gravel or sand in a pan in search of gold,” 1839, from pan (n.); thus to pan out “turn out, succeed” (1868) is a figurative use of this (literal sense from 1849). The meaning “criticize severely” is from 1911, probably from the notion in contemporary slang expressions such as on the pan “under reprimand or criticism” (1923). Related: Panned; panning.

“follow with a camera,” 1913 shortening of panoramic in panoramic camera (1878). Meaning “to swing from one object to another in a scene” is from 1931. Related: Panned; panning.

Arcadian shepherd god with upper body of a man and horns and lower part like a goat, late 14c., a god of the woods and fields, from Latin, from Greek Pan. Klein says perhaps cognate with Sanskrit pusan, a Vedic god, guardian and multiplier of cattle and other human possessions, literally “nourisher.” Similarity to pan “all” (see pan-) led to his being regarded as a personification of nature. Pan-pipe, upon which he supposedly played, is attested from 1820.

The Greek god of flocks, forests, meadows, and shepherds. He had the horns and feet of a goat. Pan frolicked about the landscape, playing delightful tunes.

Note: Pan’s musical instrument was a set of reed pipes, the “pipes of Pan.”

Note: According to legend, Pan was the source of scary noises in the wilderness at night. Fright at these noises was called “panic.”



To criticize severely and adversely; derogate harshly; roast: The Daily Worker panned his first novel (1909+)

Related Terms

deadpan, flash in the pan

[noun sense 2 and verb sense fr the fact that roasting is done in a pan]


: a pan shot


To move the camera across a visual field to give a panoramic effect or follow something moving

[1922+ Movie studio; fr panorama]
peroxyacetyl nitrate
personal area network

a vessel of metal or earthenware used in culinary operations; a cooking-pan or frying-pan frequently referred to in the Old Testament (Lev. 2:5; 6:21; Num. 11:8; 1 Sam. 2:14, etc.). The “ash-pans” mentioned in Ex. 27:3 were made of copper, and were used in connection with the altar of burnt-offering. The “iron pan” mentioned in Ezek. 4:3 (marg., “flat plate ” or “slice”) was probably a mere plate of iron used for baking. The “fire-pans” of Ex. 27:3 were fire-shovels used for taking up coals. The same Hebrew word is rendered “snuff-dishes” (25:38; 37:23) and “censers” (Lev. 10:1; 16:12; Num. 4:14, etc.). These were probably simply metal vessels employed for carrying burning embers from the brazen altar to the altar of incense. The “frying-pan” mentioned in Lev. 2:7; 7:9 was a pot for boiling.

In addition to the idiom beginning with


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