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palm1

[pahm]
See more synonyms for palm on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the part of the inner surface of the hand that extends from the wrist to the bases of the fingers.
  2. the corresponding part of the forefoot of an animal.
  3. the part of a glove covering this part of the hand.
  4. Also called sailmaker's palm. a stiff rawhide or metal shield worn over this part of the hand by sailmakers to serve as a thimble.
  5. a linear measure of from 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm), based on the breadth of the hand.
  6. a linear measure of from 7 to 10 inches (17.5 to 25 cm), based on the length of the hand.
  7. the flat, expanded part of the horn or antler of a deer.
  8. a flat, widened part at the end of an armlike projection.
  9. Nautical.
    1. the blade of an oar.
    2. the inner face of an anchor fluke.
    3. (loosely) an anchor fluke.
  10. a flat-topped bearing member at the head of a stanchion.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to conceal in the palm, as in cheating at cards or dice or in juggling.
  2. to pick up stealthily.
  3. to hold in the hand.
  4. to impose (something) fraudulently (usually followed by on or upon): to palm stolen jewels on someone.
  5. to touch or stroke with the palm or hand.
  6. to shake hands with.
  7. Basketball. to grip (the ball) momentarily with the hand in the act of dribbling.
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Verb Phrases
  1. palm off, to dispose of by deception, trickery, or fraud; substitute (something) with intent to deceive: Someone had palmed off a forgery on the museum officials.
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Idioms
  1. grease someone's palm, to bribe: Before any work could begin, it was necessary to grease the superintendent's palm.Also cross someone's palm.
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Origin of palm1

1300–50; < Latin palma (cognate with Old English folm hand); replacing Middle English paume < Middle French < Latin palma

palm2

[pahm]
noun
  1. any of numerous plants of the family Palmae, most species being tall, unbranched trees surmounted by a crown of large pinnate or palmately cleft leaves.Compare palm family.
  2. any of various other trees or shrubs that resemble this.
  3. a leaf or branch of such a tree, especially as formerly borne to signify victory or as used on festive occasions.
  4. a representation of such a leaf or branch, as on a military or other decoration of honor, usually indicating a second award of the decoration.
  5. the reward of honor due to a victor: In oratory she yields the palm to no one.
  6. victory; triumph; success: He carried off the palm by sheer perseverance.
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Origin of palm2

before 900; Middle English, Old English < Latin palma palm tree, special use of palma palm1
Related formspalm·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

citationprizegoldcupkeepsakecrownsouvenirdecorationmedalmementowreathgripfistpalmpurloinfilchswipestowstashhandle

Examples from the Web for palm

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He smote his palm with his clenched fist and strode about the little room.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • He had been shot in the most painful place in the body—the palm of the hand.

  • Linda laid her palm on the top of the sand heap and pressed it flat.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "Then give me mine," cries the critic, stretching out his palm.

    Main Street

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • But here, on the palm of my hand, stands a wonder that outdoes them all!

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne


British Dictionary definitions for palm

palm1

noun
  1. the inner part of the hand from the wrist to the base of the fingersRelated adjectives: thenar, volar
  2. a corresponding part in animals, esp apes and monkeys
  3. a linear measure based on the breadth or length of a hand, equal to three to four inches or seven to ten inches respectively
  4. the part of a glove that covers the palm
  5. a hard leather shield worn by sailmakers to protect the palm of the hand
    1. the side of the blade of an oar that faces away from the direction of a boat's movement during a stroke
    2. the face of the fluke of an anchor
  6. a flattened or expanded part of the antlers of certain deer
  7. in the palm of one's hand at one's mercy or command
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verb (tr)
  1. to conceal in or about the hand, as in sleight-of-hand tricks
  2. to touch or soothe with the palm of the hand
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See also palm off

Word Origin

C14 paume, via Old French from Latin palma; compare Old English folm palm of the hand, Greek palamē

palm2

noun
  1. any treelike plant of the tropical and subtropical monocotyledonous family Arecaceae (formerly Palmae or Palmaceae), usually having a straight unbranched trunk crowned with large pinnate or palmate leaves
  2. a leaf or branch of any of these trees, a symbol of victory, success, etc
  3. merit or victory
  4. an emblem or insignia representing a leaf or branch worn on certain military decorations
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Word Origin

Old English, from Latin palma, from the likeness of its spreading fronds to a hand; see palm 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 palm

n.1

"flat of the hand," c.1300, from Old French palme (Modern French paume), from Latin palma "palm of the hand," also "flat end of an oar; palm tree," from PIE *pel- "to spread out; flat" (cf. Greek palame "open hand," Old Irish lam, Welsh llaw, Old English folm, Old High German folma "hand," Sanskrit panih "hand, hoof"). Palm oil is earlier in the punning sense of "bribe" (1620s) than in the literal sense of "oil from the fruit of the West African palm" (1705, from palm (n.2)).

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n.2

tropical tree, Old English palma, Old French palme, both from Latin palma "palm tree," originally "palm of the hand;" the tree so called from the shape of its leaves, like fingers of a hand (see palm (n.1)).

The word traveled early to northern Europe, where the tree does not grow, via Christianity, and took root in the local languages (e.g. Old Saxon palma, Old High German palma, Old Norse palmr). Palm Sunday is Old English palm-sunnandæg.

In ancient times, a leaf or frond was carried or worn as a symbol of victory or triumph, or on feast days; hence figurative use of palm for "victory, triumph" (late 14c.). Palm court "large room in a hotel, etc., usually decorated with potted palms" first recorded 1908.

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v.

"impose (something) on (someone)," 1670s, from palm (n.1). Extended form palm off is from 1822.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

palm in Medicine

palm

(päm)
n.
  1. The inner surface of the hand that extends from the wrist to the base of the fingers.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with palm

palm

In addition to the idiom beginning with palm

  • palm off

also see:

  • cross someone's palm
  • grease someone's palm
  • itchy palm
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.