pan out

If you want something to pan out, you hope it will work out or succeed. You might have to wait a week after an interview to find out if a new job will pan out.

When you take a chance on something, you hope it will pan out. You might wonder if your cousin's business ideas will pan out or doubt that your friend's relationship with her boyfriend will pan out. The phrase pan out comes from prospectors whose method of extracting gold from streams was called "panning." Using a flat pan, they would swirl water and gravel, and any gold would sink to the bottom.

Definitions of pan out
  1. verb
    be a success
    “The idea panned out
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bring home the bacon, come through, deliver the goods, succeed, win
    attain success or reach a desired goal
  2. verb
    wash dirt in a pan to separate out the precious minerals
    synonyms: pan, pan off
    see moresee less
    type of:
    wash
    separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)
Word Family
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