Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An important or self-important person: "a panjandrum of the publishing business” ( Nat Hentoff).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An important, powerful or influential person.
  • n. A self-important or pretentious person.
  • n. A massive, rocket-propelled, explosive-laden cart designed by the British military during World War II.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An imaginary personage of much power or pretension; a burlesque potentate, plenipotentiary, or Great Mogul.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an important or influential (and often overbearing) person

Etymologies

After the Grand Panjandrum, a character in a nonsense farrago written by Samuel Foote (1720-1777).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined as a nonce word in the 18th century by Samuel Foote. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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