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A mule carrying two panniers.
Panniers mounted on a touring bike.
Hoop skirt with pannier, 18th c.


From Middle English panere, panȝere, panyere, from Old French panier, paniere, from Latin pānārium (a bread basket), from pānis (bread).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpæn.ɪ.ə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpæn.i.ɚ/, /ˈpæn.jɚ/
  • (file)


pannier (plural panniers)

  1. A large basket or bag fastened, usually in pairs, to the back of a bicycle or pack animal, or carried in pairs over the shoulders.
    Synonym: creel (sometimes synonymous but with word choice dependent on regional dialect, as for example with pop/soda or poke/sack/bag)
    Coordinate term: saddlebag
    Hypernym: packbag
    • 1945 May and June, Charles E. Lee, “The Penrhyn Railway and its Locomotives—1”, in Railway Magazine, page 138:
      Until 1785 the slates were conveyed from the quarries to the port in panniers on the backs of horses, but in that year Lord Penrhyn built a good road from the quarry to the village of Llandegai (on the Chester and Holyhead road) and also continued it in the opposite direction a further nine miles to Capel Curig; [] .
    • 1984 July, Backpacker[1], page 46:
      Pannier literally means carrying bags slung over the back of a beast of burden — in other words, saddle bags. Front and rear bicycle touring panniers, after being attached to their carrying racks on the bicycle, become the bicycle tourist's packbags.
    • 2016 October 28, Thomas Moore, Delphi Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Moore (Illustrated) (Delphi Poets Series)‎[2], Delphi Classics, →ISBN, OCLC 1196038801:
      A donkey whose talent for burdens was wondrous, So much that you'd swear he rejoiced in a load, One day had to jog under panniers so ponderous, That — down the poor Donkey fell smack on the road! His owners and drivers stood round in []
  2. A decorative basket for the display of flowers or fruits.
    Synonym: corbeil
  3. (historical, fashion) One of a pair of hoops used to expand the volume of a woman's skirt to either side.
    Holonym: hoop skirt
  4. A breadbasket.
  5. (historical, military) A piece of basketwork for protecting archers, or, filled with gravel or sand, for forming and protecting embankments, etc.

Derived terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]