Header image of wall of bricks with affixes

pan-

Also pant(o)‑.

All-inclusive.

Greek pan, pant‑, respectively the neuter and oblique forms of pas, all.

A panacea (Greek akos, remedy) is a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases; a pandemic (Greek dēmos, people) is an outbreak of a disease over a whole country or the world; pandemonium (Greek daimōn, demon), is wild and noisy disorder or confusion, originally from the place of all demons in Milton's Paradise Lost; a pantheon (Greek theion, holy) is the set of all the gods of a people or religion; pansexual refers to somebody uninhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.

Pan‑ is widely used in terms, often hyphenated, that relate to all the peoples or countries of an area, as in pan-American, of all the countries of North and South America; pan-African, of all people of African birth or descent, all the peoples of Africa, or all African countries; Panhellenic, of all people of Greek origin or ancestry; pan-Arabism, the principle or advocacy of political alliance or union of all the Arab states.

Panto‑ has the same sense, and occurs in words such as pantograph (Greek ‑graphos, writing) which was originally a system of hinged and jointed rods for copying a plan or drawing on a different scale, now often a similar-shaped structure for conveying electric power to a vehicle from overhead wires; the British pantomime (Greek mimos, a mime) was historically an entertainment executed entirely in mime; pantothenic acid is a vitamin of the B complex, named from Greek pantothen (from every side), as it occurs so widely.

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 3000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Your comments are very welcome.