• 1informal Criticize (someone or something) severely.

    ‘the movie was panned by the critics’
    • ‘Yet despite suffering a critical panning it has emerged as a massive hit, raking in $32.2 million at the US box office last weekend.’
    • ‘Five films from the dead French director's oeuvre that were critically panned on their original release get commercially brave DVD releases.’
    • ‘Apparently, these two don't realize they're watching a movie that was universally panned by critics and audiences alike.’
    • ‘I see a critic panned it, but I found it quite amusing.’
    • ‘Universally panned by the critics but loved by the public, it will be screened at Fairfield alongside the gospel performances.’
    • ‘I suspect many actors would agree they did not perfect their craft reading rave reviews but rather those in which the critics panned their performances.’
    • ‘For a writer, being panned by a critic can be the last straw, as you nervously bring your inky pride and joy into public view after umpteen years of sweat and sacrifice.’
    • ‘Both were panned by critics in the American media and both were controversial.’
    • ‘Sure, the book was critically panned; but literary excellence was never on the agenda.’
    • ‘Critics who panned this movie for being too clever for its own good or too remote in its postmodern sophistry haven't quite figured out that intellectual rigour doesn't automatically negate emotional resonance.’
    • ‘Back home his buoyant show was critically panned and publicly popular; and the reason, I suspect, is that it offers a disenchanted view that doesn't get much airing in the predominantly pliant media.’
    • ‘The Academy is best known for its summer exhibition, often panned by the critics’
    • ‘Inspite of being panned by the critics, it has appealed to all kinds of audiences.’
    • ‘Written in 1924, the symphony was panned by the critics of the day for being ‘vulgar and aggressive’.’
    • ‘Critics mercilessly panned this romantic gangster comedy when it first appeared on the big screen, but is it really that bad?’
    • ‘The critics panned them and questioned the arrogance which had convinced this mere illustrator that he could dream of being taken ‘seriously’.’
    • ‘What is very sad is that it was critically panned at its opening and three months later Bizet died, a broken man.’
    • ‘But after the movie was panned by the American critics and failed at the box-office, he began denouncing it publicly.’
    • ‘At the end of the Eighties, everything in my life came unstuck; the critics panned my Joan of Arc musical and my long-term relationship fell horribly apart.’
    criticize, censure, attack, lambaste, condemn, find fault with, give a bad press to, flay, savage, shoot down, bring under fire
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  • 2Wash gravel in a pan to separate out (gold)

    ‘the old-timers panned gold’
    [no object] ‘prospectors panned for gold in the Yukon’
    • ‘Teachers, parents and children dressed in cowboy gear, panned for gold, and played some very unusual games.’
    • ‘He worked on ranches, sold newspapers, and panned for gold to pay for his education at the Boston Latin School.’
    • ‘Before that, he had spent six months with Antipodean cousins, in an old prospecting town, panning for gold.’
    • ‘We are small people, we have nothing to live from except planting our fields, plantations and panning for gold.’
    • ‘There were three other sightings that this witness has been involved in and he gave us some details of these previous sightings, as well as how he panned for gold near his property.’
    • ‘There's a notion that it's like panning for gold or something in the old days, this notion that it's a way to get rich, or get in or something like that.’
    • ‘Chronicling a campaign day is akin to panning for gold.’
    • ‘For every nugget of gold you've got to pan a hell of a lot of sand.’
    • ‘In my experience, it is like pulling teeth to get emotional detail out of some men, and similarly like panning for gold to get political conversation out of some women.’
    • ‘Some are dropping out to pan for gold in the nearby Umzingwane River.’
    • ‘Here, perhaps for amusement or for practice before entering the gold fields, soon-to-be prospectors panned for gold.’
    • ‘If you're panning for gold, you have to sift through a lot of dirt before you find it.’
    • ‘For the time being anyway, since no one is entirely sure exactly where in the Lowthers the gold comes from, panning remains a weekend hobby that demands endless patience for comparatively tiny financial rewards.’
    • ‘Towards the end of out visit, we stopped at a gold panning/rock shop that sold gold panning equipment, lessons and all kinds of doodads.’
    • ‘Iron, copper, and coal were originally mined from outcroppings at or near the earth's surface, and gold was panned in streams.’
    • ‘A prospector named Jake Snively panned gold in a bend in the river about 20 miles east of Yuma.’
    • ‘In Mozambique, gold has occasionally been panned from alluvial deposits close to the Zimbabwe border.’
    • ‘Wading in a pool of brackish water, a man pans for rubies, sapphires and other gems using a basket at one of Sri Lanka's many pit mines.’
    • ‘Australia has a new gold panning champion in Pine Creek man Fingers McPhee.’
    • ‘As it was about one p.m. we assumed that he had just stopped by for lunch but when he had finished eating he took from his car a large wok-like pan and started panning the gravel from the river bed.’
    sift for, search for, look for
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    1. 2.1 (of gravel) yield gold.
      • ‘Instead of panning out gold, several would be prospectors panned out pyrope garnet.’
      • ‘Not all the prospects pan out, but occasionally an owner will strike gold.’
      • ‘Feel the rush as you pan out a real nugget of gold.’
      • ‘They can keep the gold they pan out as souvenirs of modest value, plus get a certificate, a medal and perhaps a bag of local cookies or a bottle of schnapps as a trophy.’

Definition of pan in English:



  • 1 Swing (a video or movie camera) in a horizontal or vertical plane, typically to give a panoramic effect or follow a subject.

    • ‘Unsurprisingly enough, rpan pans the camera from left to right, rtilt tilts it up and down, rfocus refocuses it, rzoom zooms in or out, and riris sets the iris to suit the light.’
    • ‘This means that the camera, once mounted, can be panned and tilted through a full degree range in all directions.’
    • ‘The camera can be panned, tilted, zoomed and focused using controls at the base of the trailer,’
    • ‘People will be able to press a button and speak to someone directly in the CCTV control room, who will pan the camera to observe them.’
    • ‘I panned my camera across to Mark who was in the midst of another close encounter.’
    • ‘You can pan the camera in any direction and can zoom in and out, but in most cases the default view gives you a good view of the battle.’
    • ‘An in-joke among regulars at his East 47th Street Factory was to try to get Andy to pan the camera.’
    • ‘Luckily, you'll be able to pan the camera around these characters with the right thumb stick.’
    • ‘McMullen, looking through an infrared lens, panned the camera down and couldn't believe what he saw.’
    • ‘She panned the exterior camera over the surface and fed the data to the viewer.’
    • ‘Down, down it curves - the filmmaker doing a nice job of panning the camera to match the object's trajectory.’
    • ‘With a wide view, you can usually pan the camera very slowly to follow the action, just like people do when moving their heads.’
    • ‘So, when Ken talks merrily of cameras being panned, zoomed and being used to identify drivers, we have clear drift in purpose.’
    • ‘No matter how I tried to get into the game, the way you pan the camera around was nagging at me at every juncture.’
    • ‘Heading on down the wall, I practise panning my camera 90° through the water, trying to picture another ray, or perhaps even an angelshark, appearing out of the gloom and flying right towards us.’
    • ‘We are moving into some traffic as I pan the camera through the passenger-side window.’
    • ‘You can pan the camera around but it only helps to change direction.’
    1. 1.1[no object] (of a camera) be swung in a horizontal or vertical plane.
      ‘the camera panned to the dead dictator’
      • ‘The commentators were discussing defensive match-ups while the camera was panning over the crowd, occasionally stopping on a celebrity.’
      • ‘We then see the interior of the prison, with the camera panning across the room - priests, monks and soldiers milling about, some talking together in the foreground.’
      • ‘Effects originate in all the surrounds, and sweeping / panning effects are used frequently.’
      • ‘The next-to-last shot of the series depicted the camera slowly panning back from a close-up to a long shot of the four inmates.’
      • ‘One of the first things they noticed was that the tape from the camera panning over the stage had been removed.’
      • ‘It was obviously taken by a surveillance camera panning back and forth across a room of civilians.’
      • ‘There is no animation at all, simply a superzoomed camera panning slowly over the static illustration while a narrator reads the page.’
      • ‘The camera pans continuously over stones and foliage in a watery landscape that seems lush and full.’
      • ‘In the same series, a camera panned to a West Indies fielder sheltering under a large umbrella.’
      • ‘I just wonder if the photographer could just pan down for a minute.’
      • ‘A panning shot involves the camera being in a fixed position but swivelling or panning to follow a subject or survey a scene.’
      • ‘She walks directly towards the hand held camera that pans left to follow her as she disappears behind a column.’
      • ‘In the scene, the camera is panning from left to right, causing the objects in the image to slide rapidly across the screen.’
      • ‘It's hard not to be horrified when the camera pans round to show a bloated and discoloured naked female corpse lying rotting under a tree, where it has been left for the CSIs to discover.’
      • ‘Up until this point the trajectory of the surveillance files has been like that of a camera panning closer and closer on the suspect.’
      • ‘The shot begins with the camera panning down from the sky to a beach.’
      • ‘And if we just pan around to the left, we'll take a look at the scene outside.’
      • ‘So, for example, while a camera is still panning around her, she hovers in the air, then suddenly unleashes a rapid fury of kicks and punches.’
      • ‘With a slow-motion gaze, the camera panned across a sea of nameless people, focusing on expressions of worry, boredom and anticipation as they awaited their party's arrival.’
      • ‘Well, the stage may have been small, but my fears were put to rest when the camera panned around the large packed theater.’
      sweep, track, move, turn, circle
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Early 20th century: abbreviation of panorama.