pa·​ni·​ni pə-ˈnē-nē How to pronounce panini (audio)
variants or less commonly panino
plural panini or paninis
: a usually grilled sandwich made with Italian bread

Note: Panini is a plural form in Italian but is commonly used as both a singular and a plural in English. Its use as a singular has given rise the variant plural form paninis. The use of panino as a singular form in English has become relatively uncommon as panini has become established as the usual singular.

On each visit, someone at our table invariably orders a paniniJodi Wright
At the back of the shop are paninis, freshly brewed coffee and two tubs of homemade soups.M. H. Reed

Examples of panini in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dishes by chef Amy DiBiase include meatball panini, Italian cold cut panini, eggplant caponata panini, chicken Caesar salad, lasagna, and caprese calzone. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2023 For a quick — and excellent — lunch, there are panini and platters of local cold cuts and cheeses available at Mr. Norcy (lunch 10 euros or less). Perri Klass, New York Times, 5 July 2023 This airport offshoot of the Scottsdale Mediterranean restaurant serves paninis, salads and specialty coffees. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 6 June 2023 Where to Eat: Check out Soup, a small restaurant near Bruges' Market Square that serves beer, panini, and, of course, soup. Chris Heasman, Travel + Leisure, 4 Aug. 2023 No hate for the panini press, but its main function is to flatten a sandwich. Zoe Denenberg, Bon Appétit, 16 Aug. 2023 Simply add a small piece to the top of your kitchen scale, panini press, waffle maker, or any other kitchen gadget to avoid scrubbing that innards of that item later. Kelsey Ogletree, Southern Living, 27 July 2023 Menu highlights include bruschetta, burgers, tacos and paninis. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 4 July 2023 Not just any sandwich — a panini pressed in the Cuisinart GR-6S Contact Griddler, on sale for under $100. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 10 July 2023 See More

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

Word History


Italian, diminutive of pane bread, from Latin panis — more at food

First Known Use

1955, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of panini was in 1955

Dictionary Entries Near panini

Cite this Entry

“Panini.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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