pal·​in·​drome | \ ˈpa-lən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio) \

Definition of palindrome

: a word, verse, or sentence (such as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (such as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward

Other Words from palindrome

palindromic \ ˌpa-​lən-​ˈdrō-​mik How to pronounce palindrome (audio) , -​ˈdrä-​ \ adjective
palindromist \ ˈpa-​lən-​ˌdrō-​mist How to pronounce palindrome (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Palindrome comes from Greek palindromos, meaning "running back again," which itself is from palin ("back," "again") and dramein ("to run"). Nowadays, we appreciate a clever palindrome—such as "Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard" or "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama"—or even a simple one like "race car," but in the past palindromes were more than just smart wordplay. Some folks thought they were magical, and they carved them on walls or amulets for protection.

Examples of palindrome in a Sentence

The word “dad” and the number “1881” are palindromes.
Recent Examples on the Web The next date to feature a five-digit palindrome with only one number will occur next century, on Jan. 11, 2111, or 1/11/11. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 22 Feb. 2022 The ultimate palindrome will occur at 2:22 a.m. or p.m., or at 22:22 military time. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 The date is also a palindrome, which is read the same way forward and backward. Charmaine Patterson,, 24 Feb. 2022 The last palindrome date of special notice also occurred last year on 1/21/21, for being the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 21 Feb. 2022 Palindrome-loving gamblers will have another opportunity to strike it rich in about 11 years, as Thursday, March 3, 2033, marks our next single-number palindrome date. Lauren Wethington, Detroit Free Press, 23 Feb. 2022 On her Instagram Story Tuesday, the 37-year-old Good American co-founder reshared a post about this year's special palindrome date, 2/22/22. Dory Jackson,, 23 Feb. 2022 It’s a palindrome date, meaning it can be read the same forward and backward. Leada Gore |, al, 22 Feb. 2022 Sunday was the only seven-digit palindrome 2/20/2022. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'palindrome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of palindrome

circa 1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for palindrome

Greek palindromos running back again, from palin back, again + dramein to run; akin to Greek polos axis, pole — more at pole, dromedary

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The first known use of palindrome was circa 1637

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Last Updated

14 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Palindrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for palindrome


pal·​in·​drome | \ ˈpa-lən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio) \

Kids Definition of palindrome

: a word, phrase, sentence, or number that reads the same backward or forward "Step on no pets" is a palindrome.


pal·​in·​drome | \ ˈpal-ən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio) \

Medical Definition of palindrome

: a palindromic sequence of DNA

More from Merriam-Webster on palindrome Encyclopedia article about palindrome


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