Alternative formsEdit


From Anglo-Norman pencel, reduced form of penuncel.



pencel (plural pencels)

  1. (now historical) A small pennon. [from 13th c.]
    • 1483, Richard III, “(letter to Piers Courteis)”, in Letters of the Kings of England[1], published 1846, page 153:
      [] forty trumpet banners of sarsenet; seven hundred and forty pensills; three hundred and fifty pensills of tarter; four standards of sarsenet with boars; []
    • 1833, "T. S.", Letter to the Editor, Hugh James Rose, Samuel Roffey Maitland (editors), The British Magazine and Monthly Register of Religious and Ecclesiastical Information, Volume 4, page 20:
      The preceding extracts shew that, in some instances, each of the Judas torches was ornamented with three pencels, or little banners, fixed upon as many small spears; [] .
    • 2003, D. Vance Smith, Arts of Possession: The Middle English Household Imaginary, page 181:
      A "pencel" is a small banner usually assigned to squires, [] But Launfal's characteristically ingenious use of the pencel makes it an object that participates in two distinct systems of registration: the fine, small object that is the sign of amorous devotion in a chivalric context and the somewhat ambiguous index of armigerous status.
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 86:
      Inside Worcester Cathedral, the coffin was transferred to its hearse, a vast, storeyed, wooden structure, painted black and adorned with heraldic escutcheons, badged pennants or ‘pencels’, silk standards of St George, banners of the royal arms of England and Spain, and of Arthur's various titles, from Wales to Ponthieu in Normandy.
  2. (obsolete) A lady's favour or token as worn by a knight. [15th-16th c.]


Old FrenchEdit


Reducd form of penuncel.


pencel m (oblique plural penceaus or penceax or penciaus or penciax or pencels, nominative singular penceaus or penceax or penciaus or penciax or pencels, nominative plural pencel)

  1. pencel, a small banner


  • English: pencel