"arranger of sexual liaisons, one who caters for the lusts of others," 1520s, "procurer, pimp," from Middle English Pandare (late 14c.), used by Chaucer ("Troylus and Cryseyde"), who borrowed it from Boccaccio (who had it in Italian form Pandaro in "Filostrato") as name of the prince (Greek Pandaros), who procured the love of Cressida (his niece in Chaucer, his cousin in Boccaccio) for Troilus. The story and the name are medieval inventions. The name turns up in ancient Greek, but without the story; in Homer he is a Lycian participant in the Trojan War. The name is thus perhaps non-Greek. Spelling in English was influenced by the agent-noun suffix -er.
"to indulge (another), to minister to base passions, cater for the lusts of others," c. 1600, from pander (n.). Meaning "to minister to others' prejudices for selfish ends" is from c. 1600. Related: Pandered; panderer; pandering.