panoply

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noun pan·o·ply \ˈpa-nə-plē\

Definition of panoply

plural

panoplies

  1. 1a :  a full suit of armor Knights in panoply were ready for battle.b :  ceremonial attire The nobles were in panoply for the coronation.

  2. 2 :  something forming a protective covering faces dim in a panoply of smoke — William Baucke

  3. 3a :  a magnificent or impressive array the full panoply of a military funeral woods … in their full panoply of autumn foliage — S. P. B. Maisb :  a display of all appropriate appurtenances no need for the panoply of power windows … beyond which the usual panoply of modern mechanical conveniences can brazenly flourish — Lewis Mumford

panoply was our Word of the Day on 03/26/2007. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of panoply from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Panoply comes from the Greek word panoplia, which referred to the full suit of armor worn by "hoplites," heavily armed infantry soldiers of ancient Greece. "Panoplia" is a blend of the prefix pan-, meaning "all," and hopla, meaning "arms" or "armor." (As you may have guessed already, "hopla" is also an ancestor of "hoplite.") "Panoply" entered the English language in the 17th century, and since then it has developed other senses which extend both the "armor" and the "full set" aspects of its original use.

Origin and Etymology of panoply

Greek panoplia, from pan- + hopla arms, armor, plural of hoplon tool, weapon — more at hoplite


PANOPLY Defined for English Language Learners

panoply

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noun

Definition of panoply for English Language Learners

  • : a group or collection that is impressive because it is so big or because it includes so many different kinds of people or things


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