unusual or extreme paleness, as from fear, ill health, or death; wanness.

Origin of pallor

1650–60; < Latin: paleness, equivalent to pall(ēre) to be pale + -or -or1
Can be confusedpale pall pallor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pallor

Historical Examples of pallor

  • But the eagerness was all gone from his, and only the pallor left.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • The flush of his own heavy meal kept his pallor from showing.

  • In the distance he saw a pallor, where the face of the night looked into the palace from the sea.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Jed's pallor was, for the moment, succeeded by a vivid crimson.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He noted the pallor of her face, and darted me a quick, suspicion-laden glance.

British Dictionary definitions for pallor



a pale condition, esp when unnaturalfear gave his face a deathly pallor

Word Origin for pallor

C17: from Latin: whiteness (of the skin), from pallēre to be pale 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

Word Origin and History for pallor

c.1400, from Old French palor "paleness, whiteness" (12c.) and directly from Latin pallor, from pallere "be pale, turn pale," related to pallus "dark-colored, dusky," from PIE root *pel- (2) "pale; gray" (cf. Sanskrit palitah "gray," panduh "whitish, pale;" Greek pelios "livid, dark," polios "gray;" Old English fealo "dull-colored, yellow, brown;" Welsh llwyd "gray").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pallor in Medicine




Paleness, as of the skin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.