pale

noun
\ ˈpāl \

Definition of pale

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 archaic : palisade, paling
2a : one of the stakes of a palisade
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 The Favourite actress stepped out in a pale pink Louis Vuitton Atelier gown filled with silver beads that were draped in a way that resembled fish scales. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Emma Stone's Nude Golden Globes Dress Has the Internet Stunned," 7 Jan. 2019 But even Saint-Simon’s memoirs pale next to those of the Korean noblewoman Lady Hyegyeong (1735-1816), wife of Crown Prince Sado of the Joseon Dynasty. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "The Tradition of Telling All," 30 Nov. 2018 There's what appears to be a super-pale or clear shade, a mauve, a tawny color, a medium tan, a richer brown, a golden champagne, and a coppery bronze. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Teases New High Gloss Lip Glosses Launching in November," 31 Oct. 2018 The political logic is simple: Announce something beyond the constitutional and political pale. Aziz Huq, Vox, "The faulty legal logic behind Trump’s birthright citizenship proposal.," 31 Oct. 2018 There are lots of POV shots down shadowy corridors, from which pale-faced figures leap and growl. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Review: Irish found-footage horror film 'The Devil's Doorway' can't escape clichés," 12 July 2018 The lattice-like design of contrasting pale pink and hunter green leather creates a 3-D effect, evoking chain links or a sporty mesh net. Rebecca Ramsey, The Cut, "Fendi’s Leather Coat Is a Graphic Feat of Craftsmanship," 12 July 2018 Beat butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until pale, 4 to 5 minutes. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Football Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream," 6 Nov. 2018 But the most eye-catching thing isn’t the nudey look, but the mark on her leg: a pale, four-inch scar on her thigh that was clearly left untouched by the Photoshoppers. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner's Leg Scar on That 'GQ' Cover Has a Painful Story Behind It," 17 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those figures pale in comparison with the hundreds of millions of dollars superhero blockbusters rake in. Benjamin Din, WSJ, "A Renaissance for Documentaries," 2 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But pink tights, of course, flatter pale skin tones. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Ballet has long excluded dancers of color. A broader range of “nude” pointe shoes signal change.," 9 Nov. 2018 Indigo Intel An even, unblemished, pale blue shade, set off by mother-of-pearl buttons. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Chambray Shirt: Why Every Man Needs This All-American Staple," 3 July 2018 In 2017 its Color of the year was Greenery and in 2016, two pale shades -- Rose Quartz (pink) and Serenity (baby blue) shared honors. Diane Cowen, Houston Chronicle, "PPG goes green for its 2019 Color of the Year," 12 June 2018 To get this striped look, place two horizontal strips of tape over your nail, leaving just a slivered gap between them, then paint the gap with a pale shade. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "7 Ridiculously Cool Nail Designs to Copy this Summer," 5 June 2018 To top everything off, M.A.C and Starrr bottled up two lip glosses in a pale peach shade (Fashion Punch) and a neutral pink (Cream Pie) — both would look best on medium to light skin tones. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Who’s Ready for ‘Sandy Crotch’ Eye Shadow?," 31 May 2018 Her lips were painted a peachy pale pink shade of lipstick that had a satin finish. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wore a Smoky Eye and Pink Lip For The Royal Wedding," 19 May 2018 Grape skin extracts provide the natural pale peach tone. Lisa Futterman, chicagotribune.com, "Catching the rosé cider buzz, with a tasting of our favorites," 17 May 2018 Large jute or other natural-fiber area rugs will add warmth and a pale color tone to your floors. Jennifer Adams, Philly.com, "Ask Jennifer Adams: How to warm up gray paint with accessories," 9 Jan. 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 and Verb (1)

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

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

18 Jan 2019

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

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