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  1. a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as Madam, I'm Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop.
  2. Biochemistry. a region of DNA in which the sequence of nucleotides is identical with an inverted sequence in the complementary strand: GAATTC is a palindrome of CTTAAG.

Origin of palindrome

1620–30; < Greek palíndromos recurring, equivalent to pálin again, back + -dromos running (see -drome)
Related formspa·lin·dro·mist [puh-lin-droh-mist] /pəˈlɪn droʊ mɪst/, nounpal·in·drom·ic [pal-in-drom-ik, -droh-mik] /ˌpæl ɪnˈdrɒm ɪk, -ˈdroʊ mɪk/, pal·in·drom·i·cal, adjectivepal·in·drom·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for palindrome

Historical Examples

  • But no witch's palindrome for long can block the march of reason and of research.

    The Shakespearean Myth

    Appleton Morgan

  • Sir Henry Wood suggested that the method of the anagram or palindrome yielded very happy results.

  • If any one calls the compositions in question "trash," I cannot better answer than in palindrome, Trash?

  • In this case every reading of the palindrome requires the use of the central V as the middle letter.

    Amusements in Mathematics

    Henry Ernest Dudeney

  • In this form the solution will depend on whether the number of letters in the palindrome be odd or even.

    Amusements in Mathematics

    Henry Ernest Dudeney

British Dictionary definitions for palindrome


  1. a word or phrase the letters of which, when taken in reverse order, give the same word or phrase, such as able was I ere I saw Elba
Derived Formspalindromic (ˌpælɪnˈdrɒmɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Greek palindromos running back again, from palin again + -drome
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

Word Origin and History for palindrome


"line that reads the same backward and forward," 1620s, from Greek palindromos "a recurrence," literally "a running back," from palin "again, back" (from PIE root *kwel- "move round," with notion of "revolving; see cycle (n.)) + dromos "a running" (see dromedary). Related: Palindromic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

palindrome in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A segment of double-stranded DNA in which the nucleotide sequence of one strand reads in reverse order to that of the complementary strand.
Related formspal′in•dromic (-drōmĭk, -drŏmĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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