Student Dictionary

3 entries found for panic.
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Main Entry: 1pan·ic
Pronunciation: primarystresspan-ik
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek panikon "fear caused by Pan, panic," from panikos "relating to the fear caused by Pan," literally, "of Pan," from Pan, name of a god of woods and shepherds
1 : a sudden overpowering fright especially without reasonable cause; also : extreme anxiousness
2 : a sudden widespread fright concerning financial affairs causing hurried selling and a sharp fall in prices
- panic adjective
- pan·icky /primarystresspan-i-kemacron/ adjective
Word History The ancient Greeks worshipped a god of pastures, flocks, and shepherds whom they named Pan. Pan was believed to be able to cause great fear at times. The people of Athens believed that it was Pan who had caused the Persians to flee in terror from the battle of Marathon. The Greek adjective panikos, literally meaning "of Pan," was used to describe the kind of sudden fear that Pan was thought to cause. The English word panic comes from Greek panikos.

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