[ pawl-free ]

noun,plural pal·freys.
  1. a riding horse, as distinguished from a war horse.

  2. a saddle horse particularly suitable for a woman.

Origin of palfrey

1200–50; Middle English palefrei<Old French <Late Latin paraverēdus post horse for byways, probably literally, spare horse, equivalent to Greek para-para-1 + Latin verēdus fast breed of horse <Gaulish <Celtic *woreidos (>Welsh gorwydd horse, charger), equivalent to *wo- under (<*upo-;cf. hypo-) + *reid-, base of Old Irish réidid (he) rides, réid level, smooth, easy, Welsh rhwydd easy; see ride

Other words from palfrey

  • palfreyed, adjective

Words Nearby palfrey Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use palfrey in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for palfrey


/ (ˈpɔːlfrɪ) /

  1. archaic a light saddle horse, esp ridden by women

Origin of palfrey

C12: from Old French palefrei, from Medieval Latin palafredus, from Late Latin paraverēdus, from Greek para beside + Latin verēdus light fleet horse, of Celtic origin

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