pale

1
[ peyl ]
/ peɪl /
||

adjective, pal·er, pal·est.

verb (used without object), paled, pal·ing.

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.

verb (used with object)

to make pale.

Nearby words

  1. palau islands,
  2. palaver,
  3. palawan,
  4. palazzo,
  5. palazzo pants,
  6. pale horse,
  7. pale horse, pale rider,
  8. pale western cutworm,
  9. pale-,
  10. pale-dry

Origin of pale

1
1250–1300; Middle English < Middle French < Latin pallidus pallid

SYNONYMS FOR pale
1. Pale, pallid, wan imply an absence of color, especially from the human countenance. Pale implies a faintness or absence of color, which may be natural when applied to things, the pale blue of a violet, but when used to refer to the human face usually means an unnatural and often temporary absence of color, as arising from sickness or sudden emotion: pale cheeks. Pallid , limited mainly to the human countenance, implies an excessive paleness induced by intense emotion, disease, or death: the pallid lips of the dying man. Wan implies a sickly paleness, as after a long illness: wan and thin; the suggestion of weakness may be more prominent than that of lack of color: a wan smile. 5. blanch, lose color.

Related formspale·ly, adverbpale·ness, noun

Can be confusedpale pailpale pall pallor

pale

2
[ peyl ]
/ peɪl /

noun

verb (used with object), paled, pal·ing.

to enclose with pales; fence.
to encircle or encompass.

Origin of pale

2
1300–50; Middle English (north), Old English pāl < Latin pālus stake. See peel3, pole1

pale-

variant of paleo- before most vowels: paleethnology.
Also especially British, palae-.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pale


British Dictionary definitions for pale

pale

1
/ (peɪl) /

adjective

verb

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
Derived Formspalely, adverbpaleness, noun

Word Origin for pale

C13: from Old French palle, from Latin pallidus pale, from pallēre to look wan

noun

verb

(tr) to enclose with pales

Word Origin for pale

C14: from Old French pal, from Latin pālus stake; compare pole 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

Word Origin and History for pale
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with pale

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.