Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pan - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     pan pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a round metal container used for cooking, with a handle and usually a lid. A saucepan has tall sides and a frying pan is wider with shorter sides and usually no lid

    Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion over a gentle heat.

    pots and pans:

    There was plenty of space in the kitchen for storing pots and pans.

    1. a.
      the contents of a pan, or the amount that a pan holds

      a pan of boiling water

    2. b.
      American a metal container used for baking. The British word is tin

      a cake pan

    See also bedpan, dustpan
  2. 2
    British the part of a toilet that is shaped like a bowl and has water at the bottom. The American word is bowl.
quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play