3 [pan]
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 panorama: 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.

1920–25; shortening of panorama Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pan1 (pæn)
1.  a.  a wide metal vessel used in cooking
 b.  (in combination): saucepan
2.  Also called: panful the amount such a vessel will hold
3.  any of various similar vessels used esp in industry, as for boiling liquids
4.  a dish used by prospectors, esp gold prospectors, for separating a valuable mineral from the gravel or earth containing it by washing and agitating
5.  either of the two dishlike receptacles on a balance
6.  (Brit) Also called: lavatory pan the bowl of a lavatory
7.  a.  a natural or artificial depression in the ground where salt can be obtained by the evaporation of brine
 b.  a natural depression containing water or mud
8.  (Caribbean) the indented top from an oil drum used as the treble drum in a steel band
9.  hardpan See brainpan
10.  a small ice floe
11.  a slang word for face
12.  a small cavity containing priming powder in the locks of old guns
13.  a hard substratum of soil
14.  short for pan loaf
vb (when tr, often foll by off or out) (often foll by out) , pans, panning, panned
15.  to wash (gravel) in a pan to separate particles of (valuable minerals) from it
16.  (of gravel) to yield valuable minerals by this process
17.  informal (tr) to criticize harshly: the critics panned his new play
[Old English panne; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse panna, Old High German pfanna]

pan2 (pæn)
1.  the leaf of the betel tree
2.  a preparation of this leaf which is chewed, together with betel nuts and lime, in India and the East Indies
[C17: from Hindi, from Sanskrit parna feather, wing, leaf]

pan3 (pæn)
vb , pans, panning, panned
1.  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
2.  a.  the act of panning
 b.  (as modifier): a pan shot
[C20: shortened from panoramic]

Pan (pæn)
Greek myth the god of fields, woods, shepherds, and flocks, represented as a man with a goat's legs, horns, and earsRelated: Pandean, Panic
Related: Pandean, Panic

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. panne, earlier ponne (Mercian), from W.Gmc. *panna (cf. O.N. panna, O.Fris. panne, O.L.G. panna, O.H.G. phanna, Ger. pfanne), probably an early borrowing (4c. or 5c.) from V.L. *patna, from L. patina "shallow, pan, dish," from Gk. patane "plate, dish," from PIE base *pet- "to spread." Ir. panna
probably is from English, and Lith. 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). The verb meaning "criticize severely" is from 1911. To pan out "turn out, succeed" (1868) is a figurative use of the lit. sense (1839) from panning for gold. To go out of the pan into the fire is first found in Spenser (1596).

"follow with a camera," 1913 shortening of panoramic, from panoramic camera (1878). Meaning "to swing from one object to another in a scene" is from 1931. Panavision (1955) is a proprietary name of a type of wide-screen lens.

Arcadian shepherd god with upper body of a man and lower part like a goat, c.1369, a god of the woods and fields, from L., from Gk. Pan, perhaps cognate with Skt. pusan, a Vedic god, guardian and multiplier of cattle and other human possessions, lit. "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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pan- pref.

  1. All: panagglutinins.

  2. General; whole: panimmunity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Pan definition

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.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. peroxyacetyl nitrate

  2. personal area network

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Pan definition

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.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in mining, simple method of separating particles of greater specific gravity (especially gold) from soil or gravels by washing in a pan with water. Panning is one of the principal techniques of the individual prospector for recovering gold and diamonds in placer (alluvial) deposits.

Learn more about panning with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
If done correctly, panning will blur the background but leave the skaters
  relatively crisp.
He grabs an empty stainless-steel bowl and dips it into the barrel, panning for
Without blinking or slowing down, they made the loop at the end of the canyon,
  the video camera panning all the while.
But with his football career not panning out, his priorities have shifted from
  the gridiron to the diamond.
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