\ˈpal \

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 \ 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

Suzanne Matan is listed on my calendar and spent much of the summer of '82 with pals, including Brett Kavanaugh. Fox News, "Laura Ingraham: The accusers' last act," 26 Sep. 2018 However, the newfound attention and pseudo-bodyguard didn't phase Markle, who still loved to hang and work with her Suits pals. D. Elizabeth, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Had Her Own British Secret Service Agent on the Suits Set," 6 Sep. 2018 Hemingway spent many other nights in that bar perched with his pals including F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "Coco Chanel’s Desk Sold for a Staggering Amount at the Ritz Paris's Record-Breaking Auction," 27 Apr. 2018 The real question, however, is will Chopra's good pal Meghan Markle show up? Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Wedding: Everything We Know So Far," 16 Nov. 2018 While pals Victoria Monet and Talya Parx were in white pantsuits, Ari rocked a white mini-dress with a lace coat and thigh-high white boots. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Performs "Thank U, Next" In a Wedding Dress on *The Ellen Degeneres Show," 7 Nov. 2018 Ewan McGregor stars as a grown-up Christopher Robin looking to Pooh and pals to restore his childlike wonder. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Disney's Live-Action Aladdin Remake Already Has a Teaser Trailer," 12 Oct. 2018 While spending time with close pals is clearly helping Ariana to overcome a difficult time, fiancé Pete has also of course been on hand to help her through it. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande Appeared In Public After Skipping the Emmys to "Heal and Mend" Following Mac Miller's Death," 19 Sep. 2018 Abrams has also recruited pals Dominic Monaghan (Lost) and Keri Russell (Felicity) to join the fray, and other newcomers include Matt Smith, Naomi Ackie, and Richard E. Grant. Adam Schubak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars Episode IX," 17 Sep. 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

16 Dec 2018

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 \

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).


having a pattern of small flowers

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