pal·​lid | \ˈpa-ləd \

Definition of pallid 

1 : deficient in color : wan a pallid countenance

2 : lacking sparkle or liveliness : dull a pallid entertainment The movie is a pallid version of the classic novel.

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Other Words from pallid

pallidly adverb
pallidness noun

Examples of pallid in a Sentence

The movie is a pallid version of the classic novel. a pallid man who looked as though he'd never seen the sun

Recent Examples on the Web

Take, for example, this shot of a pallid-looking Steven Crain and his father at a funeral home: Netflix The washed-out color amplifies the sense of sadness and exhaustion. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House uses color to underscore its horror," 26 Oct. 2018 Fans and semi-fans who perhaps were startled by the vibrant nature of the racing might expect NASCAR to continue to use this package at other tracks where the competition has been pallid — sort of an instant fix-it pill. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Restrictor plates add competitive, gimmicky shine to NASCAR All-Star Race," 19 May 2018 Officials spent the next 48 hours frantically improvising — in the end, turning Trump's bold words into much more pallid deeds. David Lauter,, "On immigration and trade, Trump is making policy by gut instinct; it's been messy," 6 Apr. 2018 Fast forward to the March launch of Arizona, a fragrance contained in a hefty crystal bottle the color of a pallid-pink sunset. Kavita Daswani,, "Designers behind Proenza Schouler find fresh inspiration on a road trip from L.A. to West Texas," 19 Apr. 2018 The pallid sturgeon, which is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), has all but disappeared from the lower Mississippi basin. Tristan Baurick,, "Controversial plan to farm Russian sturgeon in Louisiana moves ahead," 7 Apr. 2018 Biscuits were tender but not flaky, and a pallid half of allegedly roasted plum tomato was so hard as to be inedible, even after cooking. Kate Washington, sacbee, "Punch Bowl Social takes ‘eatertainment’ to a whole new level | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Mar. 2018 But those black buildings are in Scandinavia or the Netherlands, far from my pallid neighborhood. Hayley Krischer, New York Times, "New on the Block: The Little Black House," 7 Mar. 2018 Compared to the young, telegenic John F. Kennedy, Nixon, who was recovering from illness and exhausted from a weekend spent campaigning, looked pallid and sweaty. Ryan Lintelman, Smithsonian, "In 1968, When Nixon Said “Sock it To Me” on Laugh-In, TV Was Never Quite the Same Again," 19 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pallid.' 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 pallid

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pallid

Latin pallidus — more at pale

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Statistics for pallid

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pallid

The first known use of pallid was in 1590

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More Definitions for pallid



English Language Learners Definition of pallid

: very pale in a way that suggests poor health

: dull and uninteresting


pal·​lid | \ˈpa-ləd \

Kids Definition of pallid

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Comments on pallid

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


a private place of worship

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