pal·​in·​drome ˈpa-lən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio)
: 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
palindromic adjective
palindromist 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 Here are some of our other favorite online reactions to the (puff, puff, pass) palindrome. Grace Tucker, The Enquirer, 20 Apr. 2024 This year's 4/20 festivities will fall on a rare calendar event known as a palindrome. Raphael Romero Ruiz, The Arizona Republic, 19 Apr. 2024 Several food joints are rolling out deals for the day, weekend or even month in honor of 4/20, which is a special palindrome date this year. The Arizona Republic, 19 Apr. 2024 More:What to know about 4/20, marijuana's biggest day of the year in Arizona and nationwide What is a palindrome? The Arizona Republic, 28 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for palindrome 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'palindrome.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1637, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of palindrome was circa 1637


Dictionary Entries Near palindrome

Cite this Entry

“Palindrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


pal·​in·​drome ˈpal-ən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio)
: a word, phrase, or sentence (as "Step on no pets") or a number (as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward

Medical Definition


pal·​in·​drome ˈpal-ən-ˌdrōm How to pronounce palindrome (audio)
: a palindromic sequence of DNA

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