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Borrowed from Middle French panique, from Ancient Greek ??????? (panikós, “pertaining to Pan”), from ??? (Pán, “Pan”). Pan is the god of woods and fields who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots.
- (now rare) Pertaining to the god Pan.
- Of fear, fright etc: sudden or overwhelming (attributed by the ancient Greeks to the influence of Pan).
panic (countable and uncountable, plural panics)
- Overpowering fright, often affecting groups of people or animals.
- (finance, economics) Rapid reduction in asset prices due to broad efforts to raise cash in anticipation of continuing decline in asset prices.
- (computing) A kernel panic or system crash.
- (intransitive) To feel overwhelming fear.
- (transitive) To cause somebody to panic.
- (by extension, computing, intransitive) To crash.
- (by extension, computing, transitive) To cause the system to crash.
Borrowed from Latin panicum.