Origin of paling
- (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 paling
The west was paling, and the August insects stirred the air with their crooning chirp.Meadow Grass
Between that garden and these grounds there is but a paling, which we can easily scale.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
"Oh, I can't—I can't—you mustn't—" she stammered, reddening and paling.The Greater Inclination
The stars were paling, but the day had not yet dawned, when there came a knock at the door.The Christian
The crimson, however, was leaving his face and the said face was paling rapidly.The Portygee
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- a fence made of pales
- pales collectively
- a single pale
- the act of erecting pales
- 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 paling
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 paling
see beyond the pale.