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Leopard 2A5 of the German Army

Two Panzer IIIs during the Battle of Greece, April 1941.

Panzer /ˈpænzər/ (German pronunciation: [ˈpantsɐ]) is a German language word that means either tank (the military vehicle) or armour. It is occasionally used in English and some other languages as a loanword in the contexts of German military.

It is commonly used in proper names of military divisions (Panzerdivision, ‘panzer division’, 4th Panzer Army, etc.), in proper names of tanks, such as Panzer IV, etc..

The dated German term is Panzerkampfwagen, ‘tank’ or literally ‘armoured combat vehicle’ (the modern synonym is Kampfpanzer, or just Panzer).

The German word Panzer refers to any kind of body armour, as in Plattenpanzer, ‘plate armour’, Kettenpanzer, ‘mail’, or generally gepanzert, ‘armoured’. The word also refers to an animal's protective shell or thick hide, as in Schildkrötenpanzer, ‘turtle shell'. It derives through the French pancier, ‘breastplate’, from Latin pantex, ‘belly, paunch’,[1] and is possibly related to panus, ‘swelling’.[2]

See also


  1. Harper, Douglas. "panzer". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  2. Harper, Douglas. "paunch". Online Etymology Dictionary. 

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