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A panoply is a complete suit of armor. The word represents the ancient Greek πανοπλία (panoplía), where the word πᾶν pân means "all", and ὅπλον hóplon, "arms". Thus panoply refers to the full armor of a hoplite or heavy-armed soldier, i.e. the shield, breastplate, helmet and greaves, together with the sword and lance.[1]

As applied to armor of a later date, panoply did not come into use until the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, and was then used of the complete suits of plate armor covering the whole body.[1]

Because a panoply is a complete set of diverse components, the word panoply has come to refer to any complete or impressive collection.


  1. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Panoply". Encyclopædia Britannica. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 681.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of panoply at Wiktionary
  • Media related to Panoplia at Wikimedia Commons