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

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 Beauty Bonus: Sparkly highlighter and pale pink nails will go great with this bold look. Alanna Greco, Seventeen, "Exactly What to Wear to Prom, According to Your Sign," 11 Mar. 2019 All of this makes a suborbital flight pale in comparison. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Virgin Galactic Hype Totally Misses the Point," 13 Dec. 2018 After being spotted on Kanye West for a good portion of 2017, the sneaker was first officially unveiled last year in a pale yellow hue as part of a bundle pack that included a hoodie and sweat shorts. Jake Woolf, GQ, "Your Adidas Yeezy 500 Desert Rat "Blush" Buying Guide," 10 Apr. 2018 Ronnie, a pale, pudgy male wearing a tight string of pearls around his thick neck, appears on the screen every so often, the upper half of his head bobbing to the song, whose only lyric is the song's title. Alison Rose, Town & Country, "Hot Pursuit," 16 Dec. 2012 All problems of local [U.S.] industry pale into insignificance in relation to the world crisis. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump America Isn’t Going to the G7 to Make Friends (or Keep Them)," 7 June 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

There’s a neutral-tone amber that won’t leave pale skin looking like a Cheeto and a deep chocolate shade to add warmth to the darkest skin. Glamour, "See Fenty’s New Bronzers on 5 Women," 8 Apr. 2019 Wilson was also a fan of Issa Rae’s pale blue Vera Wang custom look, with 3,000 crystals on a top that fell to the ground with a slit revealing what appeared to be loose, matching trousers. Leanne Italie, The Seattle Times, "Tracee Ellis Ross leads parade of pink on Emmys carpet," 17 Sep. 2018 The blueish color of each diamond varies depending on each pet’s unique chemical composition and can range from a dark cerulean to a pale blue. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Turn Your Pet Into a Diamond After They Pass Away," 1 Apr. 2019 Trees look best in lights that: are one color, two colors or three colors, typically in the same family, like dark blue, pale blue and turquoise. Rima Suqi, WSJ, "Holiday Entertaining Tips From the Party Planner to Presidents," 16 Nov. 2018 Savannah also got the pastel memo and wore a pale blue and gold embellished dress with a bold feather fringe hemline. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Wait Until You See What Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie from 'Today' Wore to the Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 But instead, police knocked on the door of their pale yellow house in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Tamara Lush, The Seattle Times, "Parents: Man accused of killing cyclist had mental illness," 25 June 2018 On her feet: The handcrafted satin shoes designed by Aquazzura last worn by Meghan to her nighttime wedding reception at Frogmore House and featuring cut-out detailing and a symbolic pale blue sole for luck. Monique Jessen, PEOPLE.com, "It's a Royal Wedding Recycle! Meghan Markle Rewore Her Wedding Shoes with $40 Fascinator," 18 June 2018 Last week, Grande put up teaser posts on Twitter and Instagram showing off a new perfume with a pale-blue bottle that’s shaped like a cloud. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Is Ariana Grande’s New Perfume Inspired by Her Love for Pete Davidson?," 18 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 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

10 May 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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