noun, often capitalized
pan·​a·​ma | \ˈpa-nə-ˌmä, -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, -ˌmȯ, ˌpa-nə-ˈ;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 3,405,813

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 \ adjective or noun

Examples of panama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Pippa Middleton's Love for Wrap Dresses Goes All the Way Back to 2007," 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, "An Italian Design Firm Transforms Discreet-but-Luxe Kitchens with a Timeless Florentine Aesthetic," 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, "Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Make Their First Solo Outing at the Wimbledon’s Women’s Final—In Two Very Different Looks," 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,, "Style Ace! Pregnant Pippa Middleton Steps Out in White Eyelet Dress for Day at Wimbledon," 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, "Pregnant Pippa Middleton Wears the Prettiest White Sundress to Wimbledon," 5 July 2018 Pair them with a cute panama beach hat, like this one from J.Crew (which also happens to be a favorite of Meghan Markle!). Kami Phillips,, "Going Away for Memorial Day Weekend? Pack These 12 Essentials," 16 May 2018 The afternoon would take us to artisan towns like Dzitbalchén, known for its embroidered blouses, and Bécal, where Mexico’s finest panama hats are woven from hair-thin lengths of palm in damp underground caves. Michael Snyder, New York Times, "In Campeche, Pyramids Are Everywhere. Crowds Are Not," 2 Feb. 2018 Oh, and there were panama hats and berets (very Chanel, very Che) and a male model carrying a Cuban cigar. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Chanel Cruises Into Havana, Showcasing Style and Questions," 5 May 2016

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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Learn More about panama

Dictionary Entries near panama






Panama balata

Panama bark

Statistics for panama

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for panama

The first known use of panama was in 1834

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More from Merriam-Webster on panama

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with panama

Spanish Central: Translation of panama

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

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