AskDefine | Define panoply

Dictionary Definition

panoply n : a complete and impressive array

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Etymology

πάν (pan- = all) + (hopla), arms

Noun

  1. A splendid display of something.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip, "Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, vol. 92, p. 459,
      Even though we cannot affirm that the products of mimesis are invested in the panoply of existence.
  2. Ceremonial garments, complete with all accessories.
  3. A complete set of armour.
  4. In the context of "by extension": Something that covers and protects.

Extensive Definition

A panoply is a complete suit of armour. The word represents the ancient Greek πανοπλια. The word παν means "all", and όπλον, "arms". Thus "panoply" refers to the full armour of a hoplite or heavy-armed soldier, i.e. the shield, breastplate, helmet and greaves, together with the sword and lance.
As applied to armour of a later date, panoply did not come into use till the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, and was then used of the complete suits of plate-armour covering the whole body.
Because a panoply is a complete set of diverse components, the word panoply has come to refer to any complete or impressive collection. As heavy armour is rarely worn in the present age, this latter meaning is the more common in modern usage.
panoply in Spanish: Panoplia

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

armature, armor, armor plate, army, body armor, buckler, bulletproof vest, chain armor, chain mail, cluster, coat of mail, cohue, cortex, crowd, crush, deluge, flock, flood, galaxy, habergeon, harness, hauberk, heap, horde, host, jam, legion, mail, mass, mob, multitude, needles, plate armor, press, protective covering, rabble, rout, ruck, shell, shield, spate, spines, suit of armor, thick skin, throng
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