Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[pal-it] /ˈpæl ɪt/
a thin and usually oval or oblong board or tablet with a thumb hole at one end, used by painters for holding and mixing colors.
any other flat surface used by a painter for this purpose.
the set of colors on such a board or surface.
the range of colors used by a particular artist.
the variety of techniques or range of any art:
a lush but uneven musical palette.
the complete range of colors made available by a computer graphics card, from which a user or program may choose those to be displayed.
(in ancient Egyptian art) a somewhat flattish slate object of various shapes, carved with commemorative scenes or motifs or, especially in the smaller pieces, containing a recessed area probably for holding eye makeup and often used as a votive offering.
Also, pallette. Armor. a small plate defending the front of the armpit when the arm is lifted; gusset.
Origin of palette
1615-25; < French, Middle French < Italian paletta, diminutive of pala shovel < Latin pāla; see -ette
Related forms
palettelike, adjective
Can be confused
palate, palette, pallet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for palette
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In our rides around the palette I saw Wahb's tracks once again.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • I had laid my palette on the floor, and was standing with my hands in my pockets.

  • He had taken up his palette and was shuffling about in front of his picture.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • He came to open the door himself, holding his palette and brushes.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • He brandished his palette and brushes aloft, in his clenched fists.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for palette


Also pallet. a flat piece of wood, plastic, etc, used by artists as a surface on which to mix their paints
the range of colours characteristic of a particular artist, painting, or school of painting: a restricted palette
the available range of colours or patterns that can be displayed by a computer on a visual display unit
either of the plates of metal attached by a strap to the cuirass in a suit of armour to protect the armpits
Word Origin
C17: from French, diminutive of pale shovel, from Latin pala spade
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for palette

1620s, "flat thin tablet used by an artist to lay and mix colors," from French palette, from Old French palete "small shovel, blade" (13c.) diminutive of pale "shovel, blade," from Latin pala "spade, shoulder blade," probably from PIE *pak-slo-, from root *pag- (see pact). Transferred sense of "colors used by a particular artist" is from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for palette

Word Value for palette

Scrabble Words With Friends