- (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.
Origin of pale1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pale on Thesaurus.com
- a stake or picket, as of a fence.
- an enclosing or confining barrier; enclosure.
- an enclosed area.
- limits; bounds: outside the pale of his jurisdiction.
- a district or region within designated bounds.
- (initial capital letter) Also called English Pale, Irish Pale. a district in eastern Ireland included in the Angevin Empire of King Henry II and his successors.
- 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.
- beyond the pale, beyond the limits of propriety, courtesy, protection, safety, etc.: Their public conduct is certainly beyond the pale.
Origin of pale2
Examples from the Web for paled
I enjoyed it, but thought it paled in comparison to their debut.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
I paled and decided this was the end for me, but instead of a lynching I got a round of applause at the end.Punks, UFOs, and Heroin: How ‘Liquid Sky’ Became a Cult Movie
June 2, 2014
In the chaos of evacuation, the question of whether or not Beethoven should be allowed to go to Vienna paled somewhat.Beethoven in Love: The Woman Who Captivated the Young Composer
January 26, 2014
But that paled in comparison to the costs of a statewide campaign with an outlandish, gaffe-prone candidate.Ken Cuccinelli Loses Narrowly to Terry McAuliffe for Virginia Governor
November 6, 2013
Somehow those emails that had seemed so important last week paled to insignificance today.Overcast With A Chance Of Rockets
Ehud Zion Waldoks
November 23, 2012
For as if a cold gust of wind had passed over them, they all dwindled and paled.Wilfrid Cumbermede
Then they paled, and something like a panic grew in her eyes.The Law-Breakers
They paled, for the sun, who had lit them up, was coming to light the earth.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Her face went white, then flushed red, and then paled again.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
He paled, and half raised the gauntleted hand in which he carried his whip.The Strolling Saint
- lacking brightness of colour; whitishpale morning light
- (of a colour) whitish; produced by a relatively small quantity of colouring agent
- dim or wanthe pale stars
- feeblea 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
- 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
Word Origin and History for paled
early 14c., from Old French paile "pale, light-colored" (12c., Modern French pâle), from Latin pallidus "pale, pallid, wan, colorless," from pallere "be pale, grow pale," from PIE *pel- (2) "pale" (see pallor). Pale-face, supposed North American Indian word for "European," is attested from 1822.
early 13c. (c.1200 in Anglo-Latin), "stake, pole, stake for vines," from Old French pal and directly from Latin palus "stake, prop, wooden post," related to pangere "to fix or fasten" (see pact).
From late 14c. as "fence of pointed stakes;" figurative sense of "limit, boundary, restriction" is from c.1400. Barely surviving in beyond the pale and similar phrases. Meaning "the part of Ireland under English rule" is from 1540s, via sense of "territory held by power of a nation or people" (mid-15c.).
late 14c., "become pale; appear pale" (also, in Middle English, "to make pale"), from Old French paleir (12c.) or from pale (adj.). Related: Paled; paling.
Idioms and Phrases with paled
see beyond the pale.