(of a person or a person's skin)
light-colored or lacking in color: a pale complexion; his pale face; a pale child.
lacking the usual intensity of color due to fear, illness, stress, etc.:She looked pale and unwell when we visited her in the nursing home.
of a low degree of chroma, saturation, or purity; approaching white or gray: pale yellow.
not bright or brilliant; dim: the pale moon.
faint or feeble; lacking vigor: a pale protest.
to become pale: to pale at the sight of blood.
to seem less important, remarkable, etc., especially when compared with something else: Platinum is so rare that even gold pales in comparison.
to make pale.
- palely, adverb
- paleness, noun
Other definitions for pale (2 of 2)
a stake or picket, as of a fence.
an enclosing or confining barrier; enclosure.
an enclosed area.
a district or region within designated bounds.
(initial capital letter)
Also called Eng·lish Pale [ing-glish peyl], /ˈɪŋ glɪʃ ˈpeɪl/, I·rish Pale [ahy-rish peyl] /ˈaɪ rɪʃ ˈpeɪl/ . a district in eastern Ireland included in the Angevin Empire ofKing Henry II and his successors.
Also called Pale of Set·tle·ment [peyluhv set-l-muhnt] /ˈpeɪl əv ˈsɛt l mənt/ . the territories in the Russian Empire in which Jews were allowed to live.
Heraldry. an ordinary in the form of a broad vertical stripe at the center of an escutcheon.
Shipbuilding. a shore used inside to support the deck beams of a hull under construction.
to enclose with pales; fence.
to encircle or encompass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pale in a sentence
“He turned pale, trembled to a great degree, was much agitated, and began to cry,” she told the court.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion | Nina Strochlic | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The pale, baby-faced, red-cheeked rapper is furiously puffing away at a hastily-made blunt crammed with low-grade weed.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’ | Marlow Stern | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the flaws and peccadilloes of Renaissance artists like Michelangelo pale beside the misdeeds of patrons and pontiffs.
Still, at each stage of jazz history certain kinds of sounds were beyond the pale.
“I turned completely ashen, completely pale,” Beck remembers.The Intern Who Birthed The KAL007 Conspiracy Theories | Tim Mak | September 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Louis stood firm, though pale and respectful, before the resentful gaze of Elizabeth.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
Babylas raised his pale face; he knew what was coming; it had come so many times before.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
She observed his pale looks, and the distracted wandering of his eyes; but she would not notice either.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
He returned shortly, to meet his mother standing in the doorway, with pale, affrighted face.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
“You must leave this house this moment,” she cried, with a stamp, with gleaming eyes and very pale.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for pale (1 of 2)
lacking brightness of colour; whitish: pale morning light
(of a colour) whitish; produced by a relatively small quantity of colouring agent
dim or wan: the pale stars
feeble: a pale effort
Southern African a euphemism for White
to make or become pale or paler; blanch
(intr often foll by before) to lose superiority or importance (in comparison to): her beauty paled before that of her hostess
- palely, adverb
- paleness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for pale (2 of 2)
a wooden post or strip used as an upright member in a fence
an enclosing barrier, esp a fence made of pales
an area enclosed by a pale
a sphere of activity within which certain restrictions are applied
heraldry an ordinary consisting of a vertical stripe, usually in the centre of a shield
beyond the pale outside the limits of social convention
(tr) to enclose with pales
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with pale
see beyond the pale.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.