Definition of pannier in English:



  • 1A basket, especially one of a pair carried by a beast of burden.

    • ‘Periodically there might be a single rider coming into town with panniers on his llama, but that was about the extent of the traffic.’
    • ‘Large heavy items were either carried on primitive carts or dragged on sledges, and loose bulk materials were carried in panniers on horses.’
    • ‘Under direction, I tied the wet end to Anatole's saddle, having removed the panniers.’
    • ‘They sounded idyllic and I began to break one of the golden rules of donkey-driving - never feel sorry for the donkey - as I watched Anatole, the brave little trooper, struggling between his 40-pound panniers.’
    • ‘These are the vendors who lug two heavy-looking panniers around with the help of a piece of pliable wood across their shoulder.’
    receptacle, container, holder, vessel, box, case
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Each of a pair of bags or boxes fitted on either side of the rear wheel of a bicycle or motorcycle.
      • ‘On a touring bike it was acceptable as long as the touring bike stuck to the script: Load up some panniers and don some bright yellow rain gear and a hard-shell helmet.’
      • ‘A substantial grab rail for the pillion provides security, plus hard panniers, a tank bag and touring windscreen are available.’
      • ‘Thousands of hardy travelers hitched panniers to their 10-speeds and pedaled off to see the country and the world.’
      • ‘The camera was transmitting to a video camera and receiver stashed in the pannier of a bicycle locked to a lamppost nearby.’
      • ‘In Hong Kong in 1994, I dumped my backpack for a bike and panniers.’
      • ‘The factory workers, the cops, the carpenters, the plumbers, they all wheeled to work, tools protruding from voluminous canvas panniers.’
      • ‘The bikers are trained both as ambulance paramedics and professional motorcyclists and carry enough equipment in their panniers, from oxygen cylinders to defibrillators, to cover almost every eventuality.’
      • ‘However, when I throw my rear panniers on and ride the bike at higher speeds, the bike will shimmy if I remove my hands from the bars.’
      • ‘Having discovered a mutual passionate love of food, travel and adventure, they pack up their panniers, rev up their bikes and head off in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences in all corners of the world.’
      • ‘Each secondary school is leasing two new bicycles, fully kitted out with lighting and panniers strong enough to carry schoolbooks, from Cycle Heaven in York.’
      • ‘He was also wheeling a black cycle with panniers.’
      • ‘Early on the Sunday we parked Tim's car on the northern bank of the river, got out our mountain bikes, panniers and backpacks and we were off.’
  • 2historical Part of a skirt looped up round the hips.

    • ‘The leather seats gave a little spring underneath our panniers, and Emily hurried to settle her dress before it flew in her face.’
    • ‘La Sylphide also popularized the white tutus, freeing the ballerinas from the bondage of stiffening panniers.’
    • ‘In keeping with her subject she abandoned the ballerina's standard costume of voluminous skirts and panniers and appeared instead with her hair loose, wearing nothing but sandals and a simple muslin tunic.’
    1. 2.1 A frame supporting a pannier of a skirt.
      • ‘It was hitched up to reveal an underskirt of a different color and with no hoops or panniers.’
      • ‘In an undoubted nod to the skirt-extending panniers of Marie Antoinette's day, Eugénie wholeheartedly embraced the cage crinoline in 1855, thus sparking a fashion craze.’


Middle English: from Old French panier, from Latin panarium ‘bread basket’, from panis ‘bread’.