[ peyl ]
/ peɪl /
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adjective, pal·er, pal·est.
(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.
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.
OTHER WORDS FOR pale
OPPOSITES FOR pale
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Origin of pale1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin pallidus pallid
synonym study 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.
OTHER WORDS FROM palepalely, adverbpaleness, noun
Other definitions for pale (2 of 2)
[ peyl ]
/ peɪl /
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 of King 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.
verb (used with object), paled, pal·ing.
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
“Her paintings and paints in the palest colors, and simplest shapes, pretty much covered the studio,” Bradlee wrote.The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy|Will Rahn|October 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Krush” (Karl-as-Rush) was the palest simulacrum of a Rush Limbaugh.Rove Bombs as Rush|Tunku Varadarajan|August 9, 2010|DAILY BEAST
It was of dainty white organdy, made to wear over a slip of the palest green silk, with ribbons to match.Mildred's Inheritance|Annie Fellows Johnston
The rug or carpet is of the deepest, and the ceiling of the palest.Color Value|C. R. Clifford
Where the sky was palest the new moon looked like a little gilt slit in the sky, letting the light of heaven show through.The Devourers|Annie Vivanti Chartres
In another minute a fashionable little figure in palest rose-colour had thrown two pretty lace-clad arms about his neck.And So They Were Married|Florence Morse Kingsley
In a square box, smelling of sandalwood, was an exquisite kimono of palest pink crêpe, embroidered with wisteria blossoms.Glory of Youth|Temple Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for pale (1 of 2)
/ (peɪl) /
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
Derived forms of palepalely, adverbpaleness, noun
Word Origin for pale
C13: from Old French palle, from Latin pallidus pale, from pallēre to look wan
British Dictionary definitions for pale (2 of 2)
/ (peɪl) /
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 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
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.