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[puh-lur-moh, -lair-; Italian pah-ler-maw] /pəˈlɜr moʊ, -ˈlɛər-; Italian pɑˈlɛr mɔ/
a seaport in and the capital of Sicily, in the NW part.
Related forms
[puh-lur-mi-tn, -lair-] /pəˈlɜr mɪ tn, -ˈlɛər-/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun


[sis-uh-lee] /ˈsɪs ə li/
an island in the Mediterranean, constituting a region of Italy, and separated from the SW tip of the mainland by the Strait of Messina: largest island in the Mediterranean. 9924 sq. mi. (25,705 sq. km).
Capital: Palermo.
Italian Sicilia.
Ancient Sicilia, Trinacria.
Related forms
[si-sil-yuh n, -sil-ee-uh n] /sɪˈsɪl yən, -ˈsɪl i ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Palermo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And out there our heart watches—though Palermo is near us, just behind.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • Then they would take the train to Palermo for a honeymoon of three days.

    Diversions in Sicily H. Festing Jones
  • Towards the end of May I set off for Palermo, taking three days for the journey.

    Apologia pro Vita Sua John Henry Newman
  • Palermo was bombarded and fighting continued for a full fortnight.

  • All around Palermo spread the tents, bright pavilions of silk with broad pennons above, whipping the slow south wind.

    God Wills It! William Stearns Davis
British Dictionary definitions for Palermo


/pəˈlɛəməʊ; -ˈlɜː-; Italian paˈlɛrmo/
the capital of Sicily, on the NW coast: founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century bc Pop: 686 722 (2001)


the largest island in the Mediterranean, separated from the tip of SW Italy by the Strait of Messina: administratively an autonomous region of Italy; settled by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians before the Roman conquest of 241 bc; under Normans (12th–13th centuries); formed the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with Naples in 1815; mountainous and volcanic. Capital: Palermo. Pop: 4 972 124 (2003 est). Area: 25 460 sq km (9830 sq miles) Latin names Sicilia, Trinacria Italian name Sicilia
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Palermo


island off the southwest tip of Italy, from Latin Sicilia, from Greek Sikelia, from Sikeloi (plural) "Sicilians," from the name of an ancient people living along the Tiber, whence part of them emigrated to the island that was thereafter named for them. The Greeks distinguished Sikeliotes "a Greek colonist in Sicily" from Sikelos "a native Sicilian." Related: Sicilian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Palermo in Culture
Palermo [(puh-lair-moh, puh-lur-moh)]

City in northwest Sicily on the Tyrrhenian Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea; capital of Sicily.

Note: Palermo's convenient location has made it an important port for trans-Mediterranean shipping for three thousand years. Settled by Phoenicia in the eighth century b.c., it has come under the influence of many civilizations, including the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. It has also come under the control of the Arabs and the French. Palermo has long been a center for art and architecture.

Sicily definition

Island in southern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from the Italian mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its capital is Palermo.

Note: It is the largest Mediterranean island.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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