pale

noun
\ˈpāl \

Definition of pale 

(Entry 1 of 5)

1 archaic : palisade, paling

2a : one of the stakes of a palisade

b : picket sense 1

3a : a space or field having bounds : enclosure The cattle were led into the pale.

b : a territory or district within certain bounds or under a particular jurisdiction British culture survived even within the Roman pale.

4 : an area or the limits within which one is privileged or protected (as from censure) conduct that was beyond the pale

5 : a perpendicular stripe on a heraldic shield

pale

verb (1)
paled; paling

Definition of pale (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

: to enclose with pales : fence

pale

adjective
paler; palest

Definition of pale (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : deficient in color or intensity of color : pallid a pale complexion

2 : not bright or brilliant : dim a pale sun shining through the fog

3 : feeble, faint a pale imitation

4 : deficient in chroma a pale pink

pale

verb (2)
paled; paling

Definition of pale (Entry 4 of 5)

intransitive verb

: to become pale

transitive verb

: to make pale

variants: or paleo-

Definition of pale- (Entry 5 of 5)

1 : involving or dealing with ancient forms or conditions paleobotany

2 : early : primitive : archaic Paleolithic

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Other Words from pale

Adjective

palely \ˈpāl-​lē \ adverb
paleness \ˈpāl-​nəs \ noun
palish \ˈpā-​lish \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pale

Synonyms: Adjective

dull, dulled, faded, light, pastel, washed-out, washy

Antonyms: Adjective

dark, deep, gay, rich

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Examples of pale in a Sentence

Adjective

the pale wood of the table The walls were painted a pale blue. She has a pale complexion. Her illness had left her pale and weak. She grew pale with fright. Are you feeling well? You look pale. the pale light of dawn
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Halloween Princess Frappuccino has apple compote mixed with white mocha and milk, leaving it a princess-like pale pink, and edible pearls over the whipped cream on top. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Releases Halloween Witch and Princess Frappuccinos," 16 Oct. 2018 Consider again the pale blue dot that is our Earth. Billboard, "iZNiiK & Beautiful Destinations Celebrate Earth Day With 'round the world': Listen," 23 Apr. 2018 Perhaps one of them will prove to be a fellow pale blue dot. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Next Great Planet Hunter Has Arrived," 10 Apr. 2018 Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar together until pale and light. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "A Chocolate Cake Recipe That’s Seriously Intense," 31 May 2018 The cases mainly develop in these younger children, who experience pale or blue skin, lips, and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; confusion; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Mom Issues Warning About Teething Gel After Her Daughter Nearly Died," 13 Mar. 2018 Shocking scene Police uncovered a horrific scene , with all 13 victims frail and pale. Dipesh Navsaria, Houston Chronicle, "What parents should know to prevent — and deal with — bug bites," 6 July 2018 The duck is done to a medium rare if the juices from the fattest part of the thigh or drumstick run faintly rosy when the meat is pricked, and when the duck is lifted and drained, the last drops of juice from the vent are a pale rose. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Main dishes? Fruit is not forbidden," 26 June 2018 Photos showed two pale, malnourished girls shackled to bunk beds. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Turpin sister's photos of shackled siblings draw gasps in court," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The nervous agitation viewers might feel at all the reckless skateboarding will pale in comparison to their worry over Elliott. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Minding the Gap’ Review: The Perilous Road to Maturity," 16 Aug. 2018 Bake, rotating positions of pans halfway through, until set and dry to touch but pale, about 5 minutes. Cherry Point, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Homemade Saltine Crackers," 7 Aug. 2018 Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018 Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018 Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018 Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018 Those numbers pale when compared with other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, BostonGlobe.com, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 8 July 2018 Those numbers pale when compared to other border districts that have been doing mass hearings for years. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Despite the woman's appearance—deep, tan, racially ambiguous skin; full lips; and wavy hair—a deeper dive through Emma Hallberg's feed showed that before all the spray tans, her skin was actually quite pale. Teryn Payne, Glamour, "White Influencers Appearing Black Is the Instagram Trend No One Asked For," 14 Nov. 2018 Now the two-dozen shades will be able to cover the ground of very deep skin tones as well as very pale and the tricky nuances of those with skin tones in between. Sable Yong, Allure, "Milk Makeup Is Expanding Its Blur Matte Foundation and Flex Concealer Shades," 23 July 2018 The walls and ceiling are white, and the floor is pale and mottled. Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, "This isn’t for everyone: Sumner dancer tries to ‘wake up senses’ with strange art of butoh," 17 July 2018 The younger boy was placed in his crib but was later observed to be pale with lips turning blue. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Mother accused of leaving son to be abused by boyfriend; infant was severely beaten," 11 July 2018 My chest is still day-one tanned, but my boobs, underarms, and tummy are as pale as the day I was born. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, "I'm A Tanning Virgin — Can The King Of Tan Convert Me?," 27 June 2018 The new look is pale and cool, with floor tiles in faded green pattern, antiqued green chairs and pretty layered white hanging lamp fixtures. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Perch at Blackbird Eatery for Mary Swortwood's latest," 20 June 2018 Reduce heat and simmer until berries turn pale and liquid is red, about 10 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Strawberry Tamales," 11 June 2018 Devoid of their inspiration, Argentina were a pale imitation of themselves and fell behind when Stoichkov raced onto Kostadinov’s pass to score his third of the tournament. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 6 Weeks to Go - Hristo Stoichkov Inspires Bulgaria to the Brink of Glory," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pale.' 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 pale

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for pale

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French pel, pal stake, from Latin palus — more at pole

Verb (1)

see pale entry 1

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pallidus, from pallēre to be pale — more at fallow

Combining form

Greek palai-, palaio- ancient, from palaios, from palai long ago; probably akin to Greek tēle far off, Sanskrit carama last

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Dictionary Entries near pale

palazzo pants

palberry

paldao

pale

pale-

palea

paleaceous

Statistics for pale

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pale

The first known use of pale was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for pale

pale

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pale

: light in color

: having a skin color that is closer to white than is usual or normal

of light : not bright or intense

pale

adjective
\ˈpāl \
paler; palest

Kids Definition of pale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having very light skin

2 : having a lighter skin color than normal because of sickness or fear

3 : not bright or brilliant a pale star

4 : light in color or shade pale pink

Other Words from pale

paleness noun

pale

verb
paled; paling

Kids Definition of pale (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to lose color She paled when the wound was described to her.

2 : to make or become less adequate, impressive, or intense My science project paled in comparison to those of the other students.

pale

adjective
\ˈpā(ə)l \
paler; palest

Medical Definition of pale 

: deficient in color or intensity of color a pale face

Other Words from pale

paleness \-​nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on pale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pale

Spanish Central: Translation of pale

Nglish: Translation of pale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pale for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pale

Comments on pale

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