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

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 The sun rose over the castle, the sky turning a faint pale pink and blue. Gabrielle Russon, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney workers find peace with yoga at Cinderella Castle," 21 June 2018 The canyon walls rising on either side pale in comparison to the network of towers and buttes that reveal themselves downriver, where the river cuts further into the landscape. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Lees Ferry: Gateway to Grand Canyon rafting and the Colorado River," 9 July 2018 That’s just beyond the pale and just hard to get your mind around. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: WSJ investigative journalist John Carreyrou on Recode Decode," 3 June 2018 Mature caterpillars’ bodies are dark on top, pale on the sides and covered in hairs and orange spots, The New York Times’ Jeffery C. Mays reports. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Londoners Beware: These Toxic Caterpillars Cause Rashes and Asthma," 1 May 2018 Videos circulating on social media showed dead children, pale and frothing at the mouth, sending shockwaves around the world, and leading the UN Security Council to conduct a tense meeting over the attacks. Tamara Qiblawi And Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, "Trump's Syria threat dismissed on streets of Damascus," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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. NBC News, "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. Washington Post, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The mixture will be pale yellow and fluffy in appearance. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "A Brown Kitchen: Mango layer cake for a fresh summer treat," 11 July 2018 The atmosphere was cozy, as guests including Ally Aflalo, Alana O’Herlihy, and Liv Perez slid into seats at long tables topped with pale pink peonies. Katarina Kovac, Vogue, "Bella Hadid, Lili Reinhart, and Winnie Harlow Celebrate the Dior Backstage Makeup Collection Over Dinner," 8 June 2018 Weinstein, who looked pale and appeared to have lost weight since his last court appearance, has already surrendered his passport and been fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to new charges; judge lets him stay free," 9 July 2018 The dancers, barefoot, wear billowing pajamas — these in pale green, those in off-white — designed by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung. New York Times, "Review: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Four Quartets’ Hits Poetic Heights," 8 July 2018 And in terms of color, well, there wasn’t much outside of a stream of grays and black; save for a shimmering Adut Akech in pale green who closed the show as Chanel’s latest and greatest bride. refinery29.com, "Chanel’s Latest Haute Couture Show Was More Than An Homage To Paris," 5 July 2018 The children ages 2 to 29 were mostly pale and severely underweight, they hadn't bathed for months and the house reeked of human waste. Brian Melley, Fox News, "Prosecutor: Abused kids upbringing like 'Lord of the Flies'," 22 June 2018 The color palate was soothing, from pale blue, sea green, cream and gray offset by orange and red. Washington Post, "Prada redefines youthful elegance with psychedelic flair," 17 June 2018 The ovens are used to blacken the crust on a ruddy skirt steak sliced and fanned so that its ruby interior is set against pale-green sweet-pea puree and hot, oily salsa macha. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Under chef Erling Wu-Bower, Pacific Standard Time is now," 14 June 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

11 Oct 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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Comments on pale

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