pan·​o·​ply | \ ˈpa-nə-plē How to pronounce panoply (audio) \
plural panoplies

Definition of panoply

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 : something forming a protective covering faces dim in a panoply of smoke— William Baucke
3a : a magnificent or impressive array the full panoply of a military funeral woods … in their full panoply of autumn foliage— S. P. B. Mais
b : 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

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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.

Examples of panoply in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cats, smaller dogs and free-range lizards have a panoply of choices, from the classic wine glass take down to the Menorah Maneuver (just make sure the candles aren’t lit!)., "Cat Chat with Pretty Pretty Princess Meow Meow Jawsy Jaws," 14 Dec. 2020 The lowest-risk option is to cancel those travel plans, stay home for Thanksgiving and not travel, according to a panoply of federal, state and local officials. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: ‘Band-Aids on a very big wound’," 24 Nov. 2020 Pompeo said Trump’s innovative strategy started with Washington’s crackdown on Beijing’s unfair trade practices, broadening to enlist a coalition of nations to join the U.S. in combating the panoply of dangers presented by the rising Asian power. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Pompeo urges future US foreign policy be made through 'filter' of China threat," 15 Dec. 2020 On one side stands Mr. Macron’s prime minister and a panoply of health authorities and epidemiologists pulling for lockdown measures to remain in place. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France’s Macron Charts Exit From Covid-19 Lockdown," 24 Nov. 2020 The arrival of the behemoth is intended to make a point: China backs its claims in that area with a panoply of steel. The Economist, "Great white hulls A new law would unshackle China’s coastguard, far from its coast," 5 Dec. 2020 Château Lassègue: Expect a wine with a brilliant color and pure aromatics that leap out from the glass, offering a panoply of fresh red fruit, and evoking notes of rose and violet. Rachel King, Fortune, "The best wines for Thanksgiving," 21 Nov. 2020 Dececchi ran the dinosaur through a panoply of mathematical models to test its flight ability. Sabrina Imbler New York Times, Star Tribune, "These Winged Dinosaurs Hurtled Through the Trees like Haywire Hang Gliders," 8 Nov. 2020 But like Georgia, its waiver imposes a panoply of rules and regulations that serve as obstacles to coverage. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: GOP’s brilliant healthcare idea is to spend more on Medicaid to cover fewer people," 21 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of panoply

circa 1637, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for panoply

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

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Time Traveler

The first known use of panoply was circa 1637

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Cite this Entry

“Panoply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for panoply



English Language Learners Definition of panoply

formal : 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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Nglish: Translation of panoply for Spanish Speakers

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