General English

General Science

  • verb to search for precious minerals such as gold by passing sandy deposits through a sieve in running water, allowing the smaller particles to be washed away
  • acronym forperoxyacetyl nitrate
    (written as PAN)
  • noun a substance contained in photochemical smog, which is extremely harmful to plants.


  • noun a wide shallow pot for growing seeds
  • noun a hard cemented layer of soil, impervious to drainage, lying below the surface. It is formed by the deposition of iron compounds or by ploughing at the same depth every year. Pan may be broken up by using a subsoiler.
  • prefix
    (written as pan-)
    affecting everything or everywhere


  • verb to smoothly move a viewing window horizontally across an image that is too wide to display all at once
  • verb to adjust the balance of a sound between the two stereo channels


  • A prefabricated form unit used in concrete joist floor construction.
  • A container that receives particles passing the finest sieve during mechanical analysis of granular materials.
  • A structural panel.


  • To perform a panoramic sweep.
  • To move a movie or TV camera in a horizontal and/or vertical plane, so as to create a panoramic view. In this context it is an abbreviation of panorama or panoramic.
  • acronym forPersonal Area Network
    (written as PAN)


  • A metal, glass or ceramic vessel usually deep and round but may be other shapes, fitted with one long handle or two small handles
  • bread, cake
  • A betel leaf folded into a parcel containing a betel nut, spices and a little lime paste. Chewed to extract the flavours and considered by some to be an aid to digestion to be taken after a meal. The lime provides much needed calcium. The fibrous mass left after all the flavour has been extracted is not swallowed. Sometimes spelled paan but this refers to another mix.
  • adjective
    (written as pané)
    used for describing foods coated with seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs, prior to frying


  • prefix
    (written as pan-)
    meaning ‘covering all’

Media Studies

  • noun a sound effect whereby sound appears to move around from one side to the other when listening using stereo speakers
  • verb to turn a camera smoothly and slowly on its axis, moving horizontally across the action being filmed without moving the base on which it is mounted.

Origin & History of “pan”

Pan is a general west Germanic word, with relatives in German (pfanne) and Dutch (pan), and also, by borrowing, in Swedish (panna) and Danish (pande). It may have been borrowed into Germanic from Latin patina ‘dish’ (source of English paten (13th c.) and patina (18th c.)), which itself went back to Greek patánē ‘plate, dish’.

The verbal use pan out ‘turn out, succeed’ is an allusion to the getting of a result when ‘panning’ for gold – washing gold-bearing gravel, silt, etc in a shallow pan to separate out the metal. (Pan ‘move a camera’ (20th c.), incidentally, is a different word altogether. It is an abbreviation of panorama.).