pan·nier | \ˈpan-yər, ˈpa-nē-ər\
variants: or less commonly panier

Definition of pannier 

1 : a large container: such as

a : a basket often carried on the back of an animal or the shoulders of a person

b : one of a pair of packs or baskets hung over the rear wheel of a vehicle (such as a bicycle)

2a : one of a pair of hoops formerly used to expand women's skirts at the sides

b : an overskirt draped at the sides of a skirt for an effect of fullness

Illustration of pannier

Illustration of pannier

pannier 2b

Examples of pannier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The amazing sculptor Penko Platikanov produced a series of exquisite 18th-century figures, depicted in undergarments of the period like corsets, panniers, and undershirts to showcase them. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "The Met Goes Meta: How Hamish Bowles Created the Costume Institute Exhibition in Ocean’s 8," 7 June 2018 Instead, Findikoglu has created romantic suiting and elaborate—and enormous—gowns, some with panniers, others smothered in ruffles, and one that’s completely sheer on top. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Dilara Findikoglu Is Launching the Most Inclusive Fantastical Collection of Wedding Attire," 20 June 2018 Pack your panniers with a picnic, or indulge with lunch from a food truck., "Summer guide: Things to do around Boston and Cambridge," 2 June 2018 Royal scarlet velvet skirt in pannier effect with petticoat of cloth of gold embroidered in red lilies and gold pittas. Melinda Morris,, "Mardi Gras weather in New Orleans since the 1870s: The best and the worst," 8 Feb. 2018 Hylton, deliciously outfitted in an iridescent pannier skirt (David Burdick’s costume designs are a treat), is hilarious and, yes, rather endearing as the ditsy, doomed queen. Tim Smith,, "A feminist venture through the French Revolution at Everyman Theatre," 15 Dec. 2017 Some were printed with Delft china patterns, some striped with a leather insert at the hip to create a sort of faux pannier effect. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "From Mars, That Dress Looks Awesome," 2 Oct. 2017 Back at work now, Koroknay-Palicz bikes in a T-shirt and shorts, carrying her work clothes and lunch in panniers. Emma Brown, Washington Post, "Cycling to work means better health and a longer life. Here’s how to get started.," 9 Sep. 2017 Librarians manned these outposts, giving books to carriers who then climbed aboard their mules or horses, panniers loaded with books, and headed into the hills. Eliza Mcgraw, Smithsonian, "Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression’s Bookmobiles," 21 June 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of pannier

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pannier

Middle English panier, from Anglo-French paner, panier, from Latin panarium, from panis bread — more at food

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pannier

Statistics for pannier

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pannier

The first known use of pannier was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pannier


pan·nier | \ˈpan-yər, ˈpan-ē-ər \

Medical Definition of pannier 

: a covered basket holding surgical instruments and medicines for a military ambulance

Comments on pannier

What made you want to look up pannier? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

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

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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