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 When considering the panoply of gear essential to the outdoors, a shovel isn’t usually at the top of anyone’s list. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Shovel," 8 Jan. 2020 Today’s panoply of jibs, blobs and larger volumes makes things much more three-dimensional. The Economist, "For Olympic climbing’s route-setters, a blank wall is a canvas," 18 Dec. 2019 These newer interiors reflect a panoply of influences — 1930s French modernism, contemporary Belgian rusticity, louche '70s glam and the primary-colored geometry of '80s Memphis. Abigail Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, "Top 20 Interior Designers in Los Angeles," 24 Oct. 2019 Apple Arcade changes that, giving gamers a panoply of quality games from top tier developers at a very fair, $4.99 per month price. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Apple Arcade Review: A Power-Up for Mobile Gaming, But Not Nearly Enough to Topple the Console Bosses," 19 Sep. 2019 While Warren had her panoply of plans, and Sanders remained reliably on message about his vision for big change, some of the most interesting moments, both in terms of politics and policy, came from the seven other candidates on stage. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Second Tier in Top Form at Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Some are natural and beyond our control; others are technological and should be within our control but are shaped by a panoply of complex social and material forces with indeterminate effects. Finn Brunton, Quartz, "“Opting out” is a myth," 10 Oct. 2019 In some large public high schools, guidance counselors can seem inaccessible, as a valedictorian in California claimed in a scathing June graduation speech, and the panoply of college admissions books doesn’t simplify things. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "These YouTubers Have Hacked College Admissions," 27 Sep. 2019 It is now sold in a panoply of hues, including Rose Red, Purple Paradise, Garden Green and Blue Lagoon. David Kindy, Smithsonian, "The Accidental Invention of Play-Doh," 18 May 2018

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 for panoply

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The first known use of panoply was circa 1637

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Panoply.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for panoply


How to pronounce panoply (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on panoply

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Nglish: Translation of panoply for Spanish Speakers

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