[ pal-it ]
See synonyms for: palatepalates on

  1. Anatomy. the roof of the mouth, consisting of an anterior bony portion (hard palate ) and a posterior muscular portion (soft palate, orvelum ) that separate the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.

  2. the sense of taste: It was a dinner to delight the palate.

  1. intellectual or aesthetic taste; mental appreciation: She is said to have a discriminating palate for the arts.

verb (used with object)
  1. to find pleasing to the taste: My friend was very ill and could not palate much of anything.

  2. to find acceptable or agreeable to the mind or feelings: Your position is hard to palate, because I believe there is such a thing as objective morality.

Origin of palate

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English palat, from Latin palātum “roof of the mouth”

Other words from palate

  • pal·ate·less, adjective
  • pal·ate·like, adjective

Words that may be confused with palate

Words Nearby palate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use palate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for palate


/ (ˈpælɪt) /

  1. the roof of the mouth, separating the oral and nasal cavities: See hard palate, soft palate Related adjective: palatine

  2. the sense of taste: she had no palate for the wine

  1. relish or enjoyment

  2. botany (in some two-lipped corollas) the projecting part of the lower lip that closes the opening of the corolla

Origin of palate

C14: from Latin palātum, perhaps of Etruscan origin

confusable For palate

Avoid confusion with palette, pallet 1

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

Scientific definitions for palate


[ pălĭt ]

  1. The roof of the mouth in vertebrate animals, separating the mouth from the passages of the nose.♦ The bony part of the palate is called the hard palate. ♦ A soft, flexible, rear portion of the palate, called the soft palate, is present in mammals only and serves to close off the mouth from the nose during swallowing.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for palate


[ (pal-uht) ]

The roof of the mouth. The palate separates the mouth from the nasal cavity.

Notes for palate

It is sometimes said that a person has a “cultivated palate” if he or she has a discerning taste for food.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.