A pan can be a cooking utensil, a negative opinion, or a sweeping camera shot. You cook eggs in a pan, but as a film critic you might pan a new docudrama for poor editing and overuse of pan shots.

A pan is a shallow metal object that you use to cook food. It can also be a verb indicating you're expressing a negative view. To pan a performance, book, or movie is to say that you think it stunk. If all the critics pan something, sales usually go down, but not always. To pan a film or video camera is to move it from left to right or right to left in a smooth motion.

Primary Meanings of pan

shallow container made of metal
wash dirt in a pan to separate out the precious minerals
express a totally negative opinion of
make a sweeping movement
Full Definitions of pan

n shallow container made of metal

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a large pan that is filled with hot water; smaller pans containing food can be set in the larger pan to keep food warm or to cook food slowly
large pan for washing dishes
drip pan
pan under a refrigerator for collecting liquid waste
a small pan or cup (usually of tin)
warming pan
a long-handled covered pan holding live coals to warm a bed
Type of:
any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)

n cooking utensil consisting of a wide metal vessel

cooking pan
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drip pan, dripping pan
pan for catching drippings under roasting meat
frying pan, frypan, skillet
a pan used for frying foods
omelet pan, omelette pan
pan for cooking omelets
a pan for cooking patties or pasties
a special cooking pan for roasting
a deep pan with a handle; used for stewing or boiling
pan with a convex bottom; used for frying in Chinese cooking
double boiler, double saucepan
two saucepans, one fitting inside the other
electric frying pan
a frying pan heated by electricity
a skillet made of cast iron
stewing pan, stewpan
a saucepan used for stewing
Type of:
cooking utensil, cookware
a kitchen utensil made of material that does not melt easily; used for cooking

v wash dirt in a pan to separate out the precious minerals

pan off, pan out
Type of:
separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)

v express a totally negative opinion of

“The critics panned the performance”
tear apart, trash
Type of:
belittle, disparage, pick at
express a negative opinion of

v make a sweeping movement

“The camera panned across the room”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

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