[ pal-it ]


  1. a thin and usually oval or oblong board or tablet with a thumb hole at one end, used by painters for holding and mixing colors.
  2. any other flat surface used by a painter for this purpose.
  3. the set of colors on such a board or surface.
  4. the range of colors used by a particular artist:

    From this period onwards, his palette lightened in color and he focused primarily on painting seascapes.

  5. any set or range of colors, such as those used in brand marketing or as part of a collection of cosmetics:

    The website’s organic, bronze palette and geometric typography reflect the intersection of urbanity and the gallery's natural surroundings.

  6. the variety of techniques or range of any art:

    a lush but uneven musical palette.

  7. the complete range of colors made available by a computer graphics card, from which a user or program may choose those to be displayed.
  8. the range or scope of something:

    a broad palette of skills and strategies.

  9. (in ancient Egyptian art) a somewhat flattish slate object of various shapes, carved with commemorative scenes or motifs or, especially in the smaller pieces, containing a recessed area probably for holding eye makeup and often used as a votive offering.
  10. Also pal·lette. Armor. a small plate defending the front of the armpit when the arm is lifted; gusset.


/ ˈpælɪt /


  1. Alsopallet a flat piece of wood, plastic, etc, used by artists as a surface on which to mix their paints
  2. the range of colours characteristic of a particular artist, painting, or school of painting

    a restricted palette

  3. the available range of colours or patterns that can be displayed by a computer on a visual display unit
  4. either of the plates of metal attached by a strap to the cuirass in a suit of armour to protect the armpits

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Other Words From

  • pal·ette·like adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of palette1

First recorded in 1615–25; from French, Middle French, diminutive of pale “spade, shovel,” from Latin pāla “spade, winnowing fan, shoulder blade” (related to pale 2( def ), peel 2( def ), peel 3( def ) ) + -ette; -ette

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Word History and Origins

Origin of palette1

C17: from French, diminutive of pale shovel, from Latin pala spade

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Example Sentences

From eyeshadow palettes, skin care sets, fragrances, and candles, here’s what you should be shopping if you’re looking for last-minute perfection.

The palette emphasizes green and blue, and the surfaces are layered and scraped to suggest continual flux.

The Mink Printer by MinkCustom makeup in 15 secondsThere’s a certain giddiness that comes from sampling makeup hues in the store, but publicly shared palettes became a lot less appealing this year.

The cornucopia of palettes somehow never feels like too much, but rather, it functions almost like a sewn-together quilt that uses a kaleidoscope of fabrics that come together beautifully.

From Eater

With this plugin, you will be able to create consistent color themes, appealing visuals, and come up with perfect palettes.

The image, with all of its sketchy lines and minimal color palette, had to be rendered in a matter of seconds.

Jagged walls of rock, a palette of blacks and greys, loom over us.

Your work always seems to have a strict palette of black, white, and gold.

The color palette in Batman Begins is something I brought to the party, too—that rusty, sodium-vapor color.

For me the notion of mixing the warm light of fire with the cool light of dusk, that created a color palette.

Make a dash at the white, put it in the middle of the palette, and then tone it down to the green?

You can't mix colors with any degree of certainty if the palette is smeared with all sorts of tints.

Have your palette set the same way always, so that your brush can find the color without having to hunt for it.

Never put a new color on your palette unless you feel the actual need of it, or have a special reason for it.

The painter's hand paused between palette and canvas, and his face was turned toward the speaker in wonder.


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Palette Vs. Pallet Vs. Palate

What’s the difference between palette, pallet, and palate?

A palette is that board that painters keep their paints on while painting (most traditionally, an oval one with a thumbhole for holding). The word pallet most commonly refers to a flat, square (often wood) platform used to hold goods for shipping (it’s sometimes called a skid). The word palate refers to the roof of the mouth. More figuratively, palate can refer to a person’s particular sense of taste (as in the way they perceive flavors), or to a person’s general, intellectual taste (as in their specific preferences for things).

All three of these words are pronounced exactly the same, and they’re always used as nouns.

The word palette is closely associated with art and color. It can also refer to a collection or range of colors or techniques. For example, the term color palette refers to a specific set of colors, such as the ones that a particular artist typically works with.

The word pallet can sometimes be used to refer to a painter’s palette, but this spelling is much less commonly used.

So how to keep all three spellings straight?

A palette is the thing a painter always keeps on hand—literally—while painting. In this way, you can think of a painter’s palette (which is spelled with one L) as a painter’s pal.

A pallet (ending in -let) is the platform that lets shippers easily transport goods.

Think of palate (ending in -ate) as a word related to what you ate.

Here’s an example of palette, pallet, and palate used correctly in a sentence.

Example: The art installation consists of wooden pallets painted in a vibrant palette of colors—it’s interesting, but it’s not quite suited to my palate. 

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between palette, pallet, and palate.

Quiz yourself on palette vs. pallet vs. palate!

Should palette, pallet, or palate be used in the following sentence?

The designer is known for using a muted color _____.




paletotpalette knife