pa·​lan·​quin ˌpa-lən-ˈkēn How to pronounce palanquin (audio)
pə-ˈlaŋ-kwən How to pronounce palanquin (audio)
: a conveyance formerly used especially in eastern Asia usually for one person that consists of an enclosed litter borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles

Examples of palanquin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this photo released by Thailand's Royal Public Relations Department, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn is transported on the royal palanquin by royal bearers during his visit to the Temple of the Emerald Buddhism in 2019 in Bangkok. Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Aug. 2023 This photo shows the Sisowath Monivog on a golden palanquin, leaving Devaninichai Palace for a triumphal procession through the streets of the city. Cambodia 1956 Another coronation in 1956, of King Norodom Suramarit and Queen Kossouan. Town & Country, 25 Mar. 2023 The slim figure was carried by four bearers on a palanquin, while the company’s actors animated its arms and billowing skirts from the sides. Laura Cappelle, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2023 And on a famous altar stone from the site of Sak Nikte’, also in modern-day Guatemala, a queen known as Ix Naah Ek’ wore the helmet of the Maya god of war and stood atop a large battle palanquin, or platform, the size of a Macy’s parade float. Shannon Palus, Discover Magazine, 3 Feb. 2014 On a crisp December morning last year in Patan, Nepal, an idol of Laxmi Narayan was carried in a palanquin and reinstated with Hindu rituals as the community gathered to seek blessings. Sushmita Pathak, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Oct. 2022 Ampersand’s carrier is more of a palanquin than a cage? Devon Maloney, Vulture, 15 Sep. 2021 Remains of the red-and-gold palanquin abandoned by Siraj-ud-Daula at the Battle of Plassey sat in a glass case, unidentified. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 One of the most captivating items in the show is a palanquin from 1856, which was used to carry a wealthy bride to her groom’s home. Emily Ferguson, WSJ, 22 Feb. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'palanquin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Portuguese palanquim, from Malay or Javanese pelangki, of Indo-Aryan origin; akin to Bengali pālaṅka bed

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of palanquin was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near palanquin

Cite this Entry

“Palanquin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pa·​lan·​quin ˌpal-ən-ˈkēn How to pronounce palanquin (audio) -ˈk(w)in How to pronounce palanquin (audio)
: a boxlike structure in which a person is carried on the shoulders of servants using poles

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