pale

noun
\ ˈpāl How to pronounce pale (audio) \

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)

1a : deficient in color or intensity of color : pallid a pale complexion
b(1) : having color of reduced saturation — see saturation sense 4a a pale pink
(2) : light in color especially relative to others of its kind pale beers
2 : not bright or brilliant : dim a pale sun shining through the fog
3 : feeble, faint a pale imitation

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 How to pronounce palely (audio) \ adverb
paleness \ ˈpāl-​nəs How to pronounce paleness (audio) \ noun
palish \ ˈpā-​lish How to pronounce palish (audio) \ 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

Meghan chose a pale pink off-the shoulder look by Carolina Herrera for the Queen's birthday parade in 2018, an outfit which some incorrectly called a breech of protocol. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Chose a Gorgeous Navy Dress For Today's Trooping the Colour Parade," 8 June 2019 Most recently Debicki attended the Met Gala in a pale pink Salvatore Ferragamo dress that featured an oversized bow. Lindzi Scharf, latimes.com, "Elizabeth Debicki opens up about her life. Now what about that top-secret project?," 7 June 2019 First in line of parental responsibility is probably the Professor, head of an experimental underground laboratory where, for a price, wealthy people are relieved of their traumatic experiences which are then turned into pale, shadowy creatures. Scott Bradfield, latimes.com, "Books that are delightfully strange, frightening and have parent issues," 28 June 2018 The first lady wore a different pale yellow jacket when the plane landed in McAllen, Texas, for a visit to the Upbring New Hope Children's Center, which houses 55 migrant children. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Melania Trump's 'I don't care' jacket causes stir on border visit," 21 June 2018 Melania Trump changed into a pale yellow jacket before the plane landed in McAllen for a visit to the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center, which houses 55 migrant children. Darlene Superville, latimes.com, "First lady's jacket asks a pointed question," 21 June 2018 When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, add 1/2 cup vegetable stock to the rice, and stir until the stock is absorbed. Marley Marius, Vogue, "How to Throw a Spring Party, Four Seasons Restaurant-Style," 5 May 2019 In bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until pale and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "White Chocolate and Lavender Madeleines," 30 Apr. 2019 The thing looks like a pale leaf but is made of jade and is supposed to move sluggish lymph fluid and ease facial tension. Alice Gregory, Allure, "I Got Fillers for My Chronic Undereye Circles, and the Results Were Impressive," 28 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even when factoring in a 104% growth in digital streaming, according to NBC Sports Chicago, the White Sox numbers pale in comparison to what the Cubs draw on the channel. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "White Sox TV ratings are way up but still can’t match Cubs numbers, which are down," 18 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After weeks of being reprimanded by Justice Jackson for spouting random objections and nonsensical legalese, a gaunt and pale Mr. Gilbert, 34, has largely been absent from his own proceedings, choosing not to come to court on most days. New York Times, "He Graduated From Princeton, but Barely Worked. Then He Killed His Dad Over His Allowance.," 18 June 2019 Repeat procedure with remaining halves of untinted and pale yellow-tinted batters. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Welcome springtime with these beautiful brunch recipes," 25 Mar. 2018 In keeping with the open feeling and spaciousness, the walls are white or the palest of gray. Roxanne Washington, cleveland.com, "Cool Spaces: Mark and Beth Nuss enjoying their energy-efficient 'Prairie' home in Bainbridge: photos," 15 Mar. 2018 Bursts of color from the blue-purple-orange-green bar stools and a pale green cement floor. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "Three Floyds launches distillery with the iconic brewery's same 'it's not normal' point of view," 6 June 2019 The little boy, who looked adorable in a pale blue coat, rode with his mum Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Prince George and Princess Charlotte Might Join Kate for Trooping the Colour This Year," 30 May 2019 The color appeared to be almost ombré, starting a bit brown at the roots, transitioning into a bubblegum shade at the crown, and fading to a pale pink through the length and ends. Marci Robin, Allure, "Khloé Kardashian Wore a Long, Pink Ponytail to Celebrate Kylie’s Skin-Care Line," 22 May 2019 Couturier Jacques Fath came as the Sun King, with his ex-model wife, Genevieve, in pale satin and starbursts, while Barbara Hutton dressed as an 18th-century nobleman in a staggeringly costly ensemble made for her by Cristóbal Balenciaga. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Dior and the Venetian Heritage Foundation Host a Grand Masked Ball at the Palazzo Labia," 21 May 2019 In the shot, taken from a picturesque balcony, Priyanka is wearing a pale blue satin gown paired with white shoes and a hat, while Nick compliments her outfit perfectly in a white suit. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Attend 2019 Cannes Film Festival," 18 May 2019

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

21 Jun 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 How to pronounce pale (audio) \
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 How to pronounce pale (audio) \
paler; palest

Medical Definition of pale

: deficient in color or intensity of color a pale face

Other Words from pale

paleness \ -​nəs How to pronounce paleness (audio) \ 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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