"mass terror," c.1600, as an adj. (with fear, terror, etc.), from Fr. panique (15c.), from Gk. panikon, lit. "pertaining to Pan," in sense of "panic, fright" short for panikon deima, from neut. of Panikos "of Pan," the god of woods and fields who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots. As a noun, first recorded 1708. Meaning "widespread apprehension about financial matters" is first recorded 1757. The verb is 1827, from the noun. Panicky is first recorded 1869. Panic button in fig. sense is first recorded 1955, the literal sense apparently is from parachuting.
"type of grass," c.1420, from O.Fr. panic "Italian millet," from L. panicum "kind of millet," from panus "ear of millet, a swelling," of unknown origin.
A very funny person; an effective comedian; a STITCH (1924+)
To become frightened and confused, esp suddenly; flip: He panicked and dropped the ball(1910+)
To get a strong favorable reaction, esp to get loud laughter from an audience; fracture: Mr Todd knows how to panic the rubes(1920+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
panic in Technology
1. What Unix does when a critical internal consistency checks fails in such a way that Unix cannot continue. The kernel attempts to print a short message on the console and write an image of memory into the swap area on disk. This can be analysed later using adb. The kernel will then either wait in a tight loop until the machine is rebooted or will initiate an automatic reboot. Unix manual page: panic(8). 2. Action taken by software which discovers some fatal problem which prevents it from continuing to run. (1995-03-01)