\ ˈpal How to pronounce pal (audio) \

Definition of pal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a close friend


palled; palling

Definition of pal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to be or become pals : associate as pals they've palled around for years

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Other Words from pal


palship \ ˈpal-​ˌship How to pronounce palship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pal

Synonyms: Noun

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, friend, intimate, mate [chiefly British], musketeer

Antonyms: Noun

enemy, foe

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Examples of pal in a Sentence


We've been pals since we were kids. Come on—be a pal and lend me the money.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of Harry’s closest friends from school, Charlie van Straubenzee, is tying the knot and Hello! reports that the Duke is even thought to be acting as best man to his pal. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Birthday Holds a Special Meaning for the Queen Already," 1 Aug. 2018 Thanks for alerting us to the sure-to-be-controversial ending, pal. Michael Phillips,, "The 'Infinity War' question: Is alluding to a new movie's controversial end over the spoiler line?," 25 Apr. 2018 The app generates over 30 free stickers featuring your emojified face to send to all your pals. Jeffrey Van Camp, WIRED, "Want Animoji, but Not the iPhone X? Try These Apps Instead," 9 Mar. 2018 Service - that old bugaboo and challenge at many places these days - was fantastic, from our hustling waitress Patty to our gregarious pal Fatos. Marc Bona,, "Luca West owners bring exceptional Italian dining experience to second restaurant (review)," 15 Feb. 2018 USA TODAY Sports WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer has the third-largest contract among major league pitchers, a $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals that dwarfs his old pal Rick Porcello’s $82.5 million pact with the Boston Red Sox. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Rick Porcello gets best of close friend Max Scherzer with bases-clearing double," 3 July 2018 Bring your wine-loving pals to the tiny haley.henry, where the wines are all from small-production vineyards, and each has a backstory. Lauren Daley,, "How to do summer in Boston like a local," 15 June 2018 First, an autocrat in waiting puts his pals in charge of the public broadcaster and accuses critical outlets of spreading lies. The Economist, "After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground," 14 June 2018 The two traveled to Madagascar together, where Bourdain tortured his vegetarian pal by taking him to a food market where pork is the specialty. Ale Russian,, "Darren Aronofsky Is 'Devastated' Over Anthony Bourdain's Death: 'I Will Never Forget His Spirit'," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pal


circa 1886, in the meaning defined above


1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pal


Romany phral, phal brother, friend, from Sanskrit bhrātṛ brother; akin to Old English brōthor brother

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Dictionary Entries near pal







palace car

Statistics for pal

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pal

The first known use of pal was in 1875

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More Definitions for pal



English Language Learners Definition of pal

: a close friend
used to address a man in an angry or annoyed way


\ ˈpal How to pronounce pal (audio) \

Kids Definition of pal

: a close friend

Legal Definition of PAL

passive activity loss

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More from Merriam-Webster on pal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pal

Spanish Central: Translation of pal

Nglish: Translation of pal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pal

What made you want to look up pal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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