verb (1)
\ˈpȯl \
palled; palling; palls

Definition of pall 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to lose strength or effectiveness

2 : to lose in interest or attraction his humor began to pall on us He found that his retirement hobbies began to pall after a couple of years.

3 : dwindle our enthusiasm soon palled

transitive verb

1 : to cause to become insipid reason and reflection … pall all his enjoyments— Francis Atterbury

2 : to deprive of pleasure in something by satiating The choicest delicacies pall the stomach in time.



Definition of pall (Entry 2 of 3)

2a : a square of linen usually stiffened with cardboard that is used to cover the chalice

b(1) : a heavy cloth draped over a coffin

(2) : a coffin especially when holding a body

3a : something that covers or conceals especially : an overspreading element that produces an effect of gloom a pall of thick black smoke a pall of suspicion

b : a feeling of gloom his absence cast a pall over the celebration


verb (2)
palled; palling; palls

Definition of pall (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to cover with a pall : drape

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for pall

Verb (1)

satiate, sate, surfeit, cloy, pall, glut, gorge mean to fill to repletion. satiate and sate may sometimes imply only complete satisfaction but more often suggest repletion that has destroyed interest or desire. years of globe-trotting had satiated their interest in travel readers were sated with sensationalistic stories surfeit implies a nauseating repletion. surfeited themselves with junk food cloy stresses the disgust or boredom resulting from such surfeiting. sentimental pictures that cloy after a while pall emphasizes the loss of ability to stimulate interest or appetite. a life of leisure eventually begins to pall glut implies excess in feeding or supplying. a market glutted with diet books gorge suggests glutting to the point of bursting or choking. gorged themselves with chocolate

Examples of pall in a Sentence


bearing her husband's pall were her four brothers and two nephews a persistent pall of distrust has overtaken this administration and will remain until the president resigns

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Grant’s drinking is handled so repetitively that the subject begins to pall. Janet Maslin, New York Times, "In Ron Chernow’s ‘Grant,’ an American Giant’s Makeover Continues," 10 Oct. 2017 Jenny is lovably hateful, but eventually, even the pleasure of inwardly hissing at her begins to pall. Charles Isherwood, New York Times, "Review: ‘Dry Powder,’ a High-Finance Comedy Drama," 22 Mar. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The drop that brought crude oil prices from more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to below $30 in early 2016 cast a pall over the economy. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Relax, Falling Oil Prices Are Mostly a Good Thing," 25 Nov. 2018 The concerns cast a pall over emerging-market currencies. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Eurozone Uncertainty Boosts Dollar," 2 Oct. 2018 An elections-eve police raid of Solih's main campaign office cast a pall over the vote. Krishan Francis, Fox News, "Calm opposition leader wins Maldives presidency amid storm," 24 Sep. 2018 An elections-eve police raid of Solih’s main campaign office cast a pall over the vote. Krishan Francis, The Seattle Times, "Calm opposition leader wins Maldives presidency amid storm," 24 Sep. 2018 The arrests cast a pall over recent social openings being pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including a historic decision to lift the world’s only ban on women driving on June 24. Aya Batrawy,, "Arrested Saudi activists held incommunicado since last week," 22 May 2018 The disaster has cast a tragic pall over holidays marking the end of Ramadan when tens of millions of Indonesians return to their hometowns. Washington Post, "Indonesia raises number of ferry sinking missing to 166," 19 June 2018 Tens of thousands of Gaza protesters descended on the border with Israel, touching off deadly clashes with Israeli troops that cast a pall over President Donald Trump’s contentious inauguration of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Saud Abu Ramadan,, "Deadly Israeli-Palestinian Violence Clouds U.S. Embassy Move," 14 May 2018 Annabella’s attempts to preserve her reputation and other people’s attempts to salvage Byron’s have left a pall of smoke from burning letters and diaries, further obscuring the facts that remain. Constance Grady, Vox, "For Bloomsday, read the bizarrely fascinating story of a Joyce scholar who went missing," 16 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pall

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pall

Verb (1)

Middle English, short for appallen to become pale — more at appall


Middle English, cloak, mantle, from Old English pæll, from Latin pallium

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pall

Statistics for pall

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pall

The first known use of pall was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pall



English Language Learners Definition of pall

: something (such as a cloud of smoke) that covers a place and makes it dark

: a heavy cloth that is used for covering a coffin, hearse, or tomb


\ˈpȯl \
palled; palling

Kids Definition of pall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become dull



Kids Definition of pall (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a heavy cloth covering for a coffin, hearse, or tomb

2 : something that makes things gloomy or depressing The news put a pall on the celebration.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pall

Spanish Central: Translation of pall

Nglish: Translation of pall for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pall

Comments on pall

What made you want to look up pall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!