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  1. a very close, intimate friend; comrade; chum.
  2. an accomplice.
verb (used without object), palled, pal·ling.
  1. to associate as comrades or chums: to pal around with the kid next door.

Origin of pal

1675–85; < English Romany: brother, mate, dissimilated variant of continental Romany phralSanskrit bhrātṛ brother


  1. a cloth, often of velvet, for spreading over a coffin, bier, or tomb.
  2. a coffin.
  3. anything that covers, shrouds, or overspreads, especially with darkness or gloom.
  4. Ecclesiastical.
    1. pallium(def 2b).
    2. a linen cloth or a square cloth-covered piece of cardboard used to cover a chalice.
  5. Heraldry. pairle.
  6. Archaic. a cloth spread upon an altar; corporal.
  7. Archaic. a garment, especially a robe, cloak, or the like.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cover with or as with a pall.

Origin of pall1

before 900; Middle English; Old English pæll pope's pallium < Latin pallium cloak
Related formspall-like, adjective
Can be confusedpale pall pallor


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3. shadow, melancholy, oppression.


verb (used without object)
  1. to have a wearying or tiresome effect (usually followed by on or upon).
  2. to become distasteful or unpleasant.
  3. to become satiated or cloyed with something.
verb (used with object)
  1. to satiate or cloy.
  2. to make dull, distasteful, or unpleasant.

Origin of pall2

1350–1400; Middle English pallen; aphetic variant of appall


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4. glut, sate, surfeit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for palling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Drive out, if plane-peddling is palling on you, and bust into the lab.

    The Infra-Medians

    Sewell Peaslee Wright

  • Then, too, I think the zest of the game was palling on us a little, strange as it may seem.


    Stewart White

  • As we are not at all desirous of palling the curiosity of the reader for the poem itself, we shall make our extract at random.

    Four Early Pamphlets

    William Godwin

  • For some time Josephine, the nurse-girl, had either been growing jealous, or chocolates were palling upon her.

    By the Light of the Soul

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • She had performed it steadily since freshman year, always with the same wild success, never with a hint of its palling.

    Smith College Stories

    Josephine Dodge Daskam

British Dictionary definitions for palling


  1. a close friend; comrade
  2. an accomplice
verb pals, palling or palled
  1. (intr; usually foll by with or about) to associate as friends
See also pal up

Word Origin

C17: from English Gypsy: brother, ultimately from Sanskrit bhrātar brother


n acronym for
  1. phase alternation line: a colour-television broadcasting system used generally in Europe


  1. a cloth covering, usually black, spread over a coffin or tomb
  2. a coffin, esp during the funeral ceremony
  3. a dark heavy covering; shroudthe clouds formed a pall over the sky
  4. a depressing or oppressive atmosphereher bereavement cast a pall on the party
  5. heraldry an ordinary consisting of a Y-shaped bearing
  6. Christianity
    1. a small square linen cloth with which the chalice is covered at the Eucharist
    2. an archaic word for pallium (def. 2)
  7. an obsolete word for cloak
  1. (tr) to cover or depress with a pall

Word Origin

Old English pæll, from Latin: pallium


  1. (intr often foll by on) to become or appear boring, insipid, or tiresome (to)history classes palled on me
  2. to cloy or satiate, or become cloyed or satiated

Word Origin

C14: variant of appal
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 palling



1788, from Romany (English Gypsy) pal "brother, comrade," variant of continental Romany pral, plal, phral, probably from Sanskrit bhrata "brother" (see brother (n.)). Extended colloquial form palsy-walsy attested from 1930.



Old English pæll "rich cloth or cloak, purple robe, altar cloth," from Latin pallium "cloak, coverlet, covering," in Tertullian, the garment worn by Christians instead of the Roman toga; related to pallo "robe, cloak," palla "long upper garment of Roman women," perhaps from the root of pellis "skin." Notion of "cloth spread over a coffin" (mid-15c.) led to figurative sense of "dark, gloomy mood" (1742).



"become tiresome," 1700, from Middle English pallen "to become faint, fail in strength" (late 14c.), shortened form of appallen "to dismay, fill with horror or disgust" (see appall). Related: Palled; palling.



1879, from pal (n.). Related: Palled; palling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper