PANACHE, a French word adapted from Ital. peiuiacliio, Lat. pcnna, feather, for a plume of feathers on a helmet or hat; the " panache " should be properly distinguished from the " plume," as being a large cluster of feathers fixed on the top of the helmet and flowing over it, the " plume " being a single feather at the side or front. The word " panache " is often used figuratively in French of a flamboyant piece of ornamentation, a " purple patch " in hterature, or any exaggerated form of decoration.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)