pan·​o·​ply | \ˈpa-nə-plē \
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

The shared experience of tapas, a panoply of food, drink, and conversation uniquely Spanish, often quite magical. Robin Currie,, "Bring the tapas bar home with 'Boqueria'," 5 July 2018 In the panoply of commanders who turned much of Central America into a killing field in the 1980s, General Ríos Montt was one of the most murderous. Stephen Kinzer, New York Times, "Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan Dictator Convicted of Genocide, Dies at 91," 1 Apr. 2018 Elrich has racked up a panoply of other endorsements — many from labor unions and progressive groups — in his bid to win the six-way Democratic primary race, which in liberal Montgomery is tantamount to winning the general election. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Man fatally shot in Southeast Washington," 9 June 2018 The court’s decision presents public unions with an immediate problem and a panoply of broader issues. Michael Hiltzik,, "Dealt a body blow by the Supreme Court, unions ponder: Where do we go from here?," 28 June 2018 The collection has since expanded into fine jewellery and this summer sees the launch of Diva Festa, a panoply of turquoise, cornelian, mother of pearl and diamond inspired by the baths. Alice B-b, A-LIST, "No Place Like Rome," 4 July 2018 The laptop connects to a dozen cameras set up around San Francisco, from the top of the Ferry Building to the Cliff House to capture the full urban panoply. San Francisco Chronicle, "Atop Salesforce Tower, one of the world’s highest works of public art comes to light," 20 May 2018 And, in the role of Banquo, actor Andrew White somehow captures the full panoply of human expression. Chris Jones,, "Guilt and ambition have to fight it out in every 'Macbeth,' even this thriller by Teller," 4 May 2018 The whole panoply of causes were designed to soften the harsher edges of industrialization. Denise Davidson,, "In new book, author Jon Meacham examines 'The Soul of America'," 3 June 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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Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for panoply

The first known use of panoply was circa 1637

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English Language Learners Definition of panoply

: 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

Comments on panoply

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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