One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who has or claims to have a great deal of authority or influence.‘the greatest scientific panjandrum of the 19th century’as title ‘the Great Panjandrum of this exercise is a management consultant’
celebrity, famous person, very important person, personality, name, big name, famous name, household name, star, superstar, celebutante, leading light, mogul, giant, great, master, king, guruView synonyms
- ‘After the 2000 election, the panjandrums of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council ascribed Vice President Al Gore's failure to win the presidency to his ‘business-bashing populism.’’
- ‘Lou Gerstner, high panjandrum at IBM, has been awarded an honorary knighthood in the Queen's latest birthday honours list.’
- ‘Now get this straight, this is a man who has over the decades put himself forward as the adjudicator of honest, straight news reporting (the profession's panjandrums I've noticed over the years love to shower him with awards).’
- ‘Arledge, the late ABC sports panjandrum, set the tone of covering the Olympics.’
- ‘The jobs of chairman and director-general are usually bestowed upon people of epic self-importance, panjandrums who consider themselves to be famous and have indeed achieved much greatness in their respective spheres.’
Late 19th century: from Grand Panjandrum, an invented phrase in a nonsense verse (1755) by S. Foote.
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