noun, often capitalized
pan·​a·​ma | \ ˈpa-nə-ˌmä How to pronounce panama (audio) , -ˌmȯ \

Definition of panama

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a lightweight hat of natural-colored straw hand-plaited of narrow strips from the young leaves of the jipijapa also : a machine-made imitation of this


geographical name
Pan·​a·​ma | \ ˈpa-nə-ˌmä How to pronounce Panama (audio) , -ˌmȯ, ˌpa-nə-ˈmä, -ˈmȯ, ; ˌpä-nä-ˈmä \
variants: or Spanish Panamá

Definition of Panama (Entry 2 of 2)

1 country in southernmost Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific; a republic; before 1903 part of Colombia area (including Canal Zone) 30,765 square miles (79,681 square kilometers), population 3,801,000
2 or Panama City city, port on the Gulf of Panama, and capital of Panama population 430,000
3 ship canal 51 miles (82 kilometers) long in central Panama connecting the Atlantic (via the Caribbean Sea) and the Pacific (via the Gulf of Panama)

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Other Words from panama

Geographical name

Panamanian \ ˌpa-​nə-​ˈmā-​nē-​ən How to pronounce Panama (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of panama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For Markle, the classic cream panama hat with a black ribbon fit the bill. Anna Millard,, 14 July 2018 Duchess Meghan, wearing a white blouse and panama hat, is spotted holding their three-month-old son, who donned a striped sweater and beige pants. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Aug. 2019 Meghan paired her dress with a pair of Grear leather sandals from Sarah Flint NY, a pair of sunglasses and a white-and-black Madewell x Biltmore panama hat, which is also sold out. Maria Pasquini,, 30 June 2018 Ariana Grande has her oversize pullovers, Kate Middleton has her skirt suits, Meghan Markle has her panama hat, and Pippa Middleton? Marina Liao, Marie Claire, 27 Aug. 2018 Upstairs, stacks of vintage suitcases line a high bedroom shelf; in the dressing room, a collection of panama hats adorns an antique ladder. Maria Shollenbarger, ELLE Decor, 18 Oct. 2018 Markle swapped out the fanciful fascinators and proper toppers for a panama hat to finish the look with polish. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, 14 July 2018 Pippa carried a straw J.Crew clutch (on sale for $60) and matching Jess Collett hand woven panama trilby hat. Dave Quinn,, 5 July 2018 Her accessories added fitting summery touches, including Penelope Chilvers lace-up espadrilles, a Jess Collett panama hat, Chanel sunglasses, and a J.Crew basket clutch. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panama.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of panama


1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for panama


American Spanish panamá, from Panama, Central America

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Cite this Entry

“Panama.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for panama

Britannica English: Translation of panama for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about panama


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