Definition of pannier in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpanɪə/


1A basket, especially one of a pair carried by a beast of burden.
Example sentences
  • Large heavy items were either carried on primitive carts or dragged on sledges, and loose bulk materials were carried in panniers on horses.
  • They sounded idyllic and I began to break one of the golden rules of donkey-driving - never feel sorry for the donkey - as I watched Anatole, the brave little trooper, struggling between his 40-pound panniers.
  • Under direction, I tied the wet end to Anatole's saddle, having removed the panniers.
1.1Each of a pair of bags or boxes fitted on either side of the rear wheel of a bicycle or motorcycle.
Example sentences
  • The camera was transmitting to a video camera and receiver stashed in the pannier of a bicycle locked to a lamppost nearby.
  • However, when I throw my rear panniers on and ride the bike at higher speeds, the bike will shimmy if I remove my hands from the bars.
  • The factory workers, the cops, the carpenters, the plumbers, they all wheeled to work, tools protruding from voluminous canvas panniers.
2 historical Part of a skirt looped up round the hips.
Example sentences
  • La Sylphide also popularized the white tutus, freeing the ballerinas from the bondage of stiffening panniers.
  • In keeping with her subject she abandoned the ballerina's standard costume of voluminous skirts and panniers and appeared instead with her hair loose, wearing nothing but sandals and a simple muslin tunic.
  • The leather seats gave a little spring underneath our panniers, and Emily hurried to settle her dress before it flew in her face.
2.1A frame supporting a pannier of a skirt.
Example sentences
  • It was hitched up to reveal an underskirt of a different color and with no hoops or panniers.
  • In an undoubted nod to the skirt-extending panniers of Marie Antoinette's day, Eugénie wholeheartedly embraced the cage crinoline in 1855, thus sparking a fashion craze.


Middle English: from Old French panier, from Latin panarium 'bread basket', from panis 'bread'.

  • companion from Middle English:

    A companion is literally ‘a person who you eat bread with’. The word comes from Old French compaignon, from Latin com- ‘together with’ and panis ‘bread’. Other English words that derive from panis include pannier (Middle English), pastille (mid 17th century) a ‘little loaf’ of something, and pantry (Middle English). Company (Middle English) and accompany (Late Middle English) come from the same root.

Words that rhyme with pannier

Campania, Catania

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pan|nier

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.