[ pal-in-drohm ]
/ ˈpæl ɪnˌdroʊm /
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a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as Madam, I'm Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop.
Biochemistry. a region of DNA in which the sequence of nucleotides is identical with an inverted sequence in the complementary strand: GAATTC is a palindrome of CTTAAG.
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Origin of palindrome

First recorded in 1630–40; from Greek palíndromos “recurring,” equivalent to pálin “back, again” + -dromos “running, race” (see -drome)


pa·lin·dro·mist [puh-lin-droh-mist], /pəˈlɪn droʊ mɪst/, nounpal·in·drom·ic [pal-in-drom-ik, -droh-mik], /ˌpæl ɪnˈdrɒm ɪk, -ˈdroʊ mɪk/, pal·in·drom·i·cal, adjectivepal·in·drom·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a palindrome?

A palindrome is a word or phrase that can be read the same way backward or forward, as with the words redivider, kayak, and civic.

Palindromes are most often used to be creative and have fun with words. You might see them in ads to catch your attention or a creative writing teacher might ask the class to write palindromes to help students think more creatively.

In biology, a palindrome describes a sequence of nucleotides in DNA that matches a reverse line. The possible nucleotide combinations are A-T and C-G, and the pairs can match up in any order. Sometimes they line up palindromically, as when CCTAGG matches up with a sequence of GGATCC.

Example: One of the most famous palindromes is “Never Odd or Even,” which has the same letters backward and forward.

Where does palindrome come from?

The first records of the term palindrome come from around 1630. It comes from the Greek palíndromos, meaning “recurring.” A word or phrase that is spelled the same way backward as it does forward might be thought of as having recurring letters.

Palindromes are a literary device similar to alliteration or rhyme schemes, which allow writers to add an extra layer of written complexity to their works. Sometimes a product or brand with a palindromic name is more memorable, such as the Honda Civic, Xerox printers, Elle magazine, and OXO cooking products.

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What are some other forms related to palindrome?

  • palindromist (noun)
  • palindromic (adjective)
  • palindromical (adjective)
  • palindromically (adverb)

What are some words that share a root or word element with palindrome

What are some words that often get used in discussing palindrome?

How is palindrome used in real life?

Palindromes are mostly created for the fun of them.



Try using palindrome!

Is palindrome used correctly in the following sentence?

My favorite palindrome is “She sells seashells by the seashore.”

How to use palindrome in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for palindrome

/ (ˈpælɪnˌdrəʊm) /

a word or phrase the letters of which, when taken in reverse order, give the same word or phrase, such as able was I ere I saw Elba

Derived forms of palindrome

palindromic (ˌpælɪnˈdrɒmɪk), adjective

Word Origin for palindrome

C17: from Greek palindromos running back again, from palin again + -drome
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