pan out

verb

panned out; panning out; pans out

intransitive verb

: to happen, end, or develop in a particular way : turn out
I'm really enjoying how this is all panning out now and it is so exciting and intriguing to watch and find out what happens next …Gary Neville
especially : succeed
… the signs revealed that the experiment wasn't panning outRonald Reagan
She [Dixie Hollins] noted that learning about arts and entertainment fills her creative side and works as a great plan B if her goal of working in the medical field doesn't pan out. Karin Davis-Thompson

Example Sentences

the eagerly anticipated kayaking trip never panned out the investment scheme didn't quite pan out

Word History

Etymology

pan entry 2

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pan out was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near pan out

Cite this Entry

“Pan out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pan%20out. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

pan out

verb
: turn out sense 5
especially : succeed
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY