pal·​lid | \ ˈpa-ləd How to pronounce pallid (audio) \

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.

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 My memories are of a distinctly uncharismatic, warehouse-y building bathed in pallid fluorescent light. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 My first attempts — tough, bland, ungainly, sometimes all three — were pallid imitations of Raich’s handiwork. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 4 Jan. 2022 Most of the other wrinkles, frankly, including the machinations of Penelope's devious mother, Lady Portia (Polly Walker), feel relatively pallid compared to those two primary prongs. Brian Lowry, CNN, 24 Mar. 2022 The star this time is Robert Pattinson, the former vampire prince of the Twilight movies, still a pallid gothic creature but now sculpted rather than slender, with muscles in his long pale arms and broad shoulders that have never seen the sun. Ross Douthat, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 Sometimes all that flair tips into pure silliness (see the 1996 alien-invasion farce Mars Attacks!) or gets smothered under its own art direction (2019's pallid live-action Dumbo). Leah Greenblatt,, 13 Mar. 2022 Others, their pallid skin shades of blue and gray, were still—save for their skeletal rib cages silently rising and falling. Jane Ferguson, The New Yorker, 5 Jan. 2022 The pallid skies of Jordan-as-Arrakis serve as backdrop to airborne war machines inspired by Vermette’s fondness for insects. Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 And while in many places the no-fuss trappings haven’t changed — crumply butcher paper, squeeze bottles of sweet-smoky sauce, pallid white bread or saltines still in the wrapper — an aura of fine dining now surrounds the pit. New York Times, 26 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of pallid

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pallid

borrowed from Latin pallidus "pale, colorless" — more at pale entry 1

Learn More About pallid

Dictionary Entries Near pallid



pallida Mors

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pallid

Last Updated

4 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pallid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for pallid


pal·​lid | \ ˈpa-ləd How to pronounce pallid (audio) \

Kids Definition of pallid

More from Merriam-Webster on pallid

Nglish: Translation of pallid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pallid for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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