pal·​lid ˈpa-ləd How to pronounce pallid (audio)
: deficient in color : wan
a pallid countenance
: lacking sparkle or liveliness : dull
a pallid entertainment
The movie is a pallid version of the classic novel.
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 Scarcity has made palates incurious, leading to a nativist turn in national appetites: Think pallid plates of fish and chips in England, a country that once hummed with curry houses sitting along a vibrant Brick Lane. Mayukh Sen, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2023 The studios, faced with a pallid fall season, were feeling immense pressure as well. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 But this approach gives a fragmented and ultimately pallid portrait of a glittering musician. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Sep. 2023 Similarly this offered the prospect of an advance into the mechanics of reality, by comparison with which the notion of sitting alone in a room writing a book seemed entirely pallid. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 10 Sep. 2023 Thanks to the light reflecting off our new wall color, my pale Irish skin was no longer a dewy porcelain but sickly and pallid. House Beautiful, 5 Sep. 2023 The Oscars ceremony was a pallid and watered-down entertainment, with little of what makes anybody care about movies. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2023 In a study of the Chihuahuan Desert in the American Southwest and northern Mexico, ancient packrats were found to have collected remains of everything from 9,000-year-old pocket gophers to 12,000-year-old pallid bats. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 15 July 2022 The bird-dropping moth and other species proposed for addition — including the fat pocketbook mussel, the pallid shiner and the crawfish frog — may not be as iconic or photogenic as some species, but each is an important part of Indiana’s various ecosystems. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pallid was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near pallid

Cite this Entry

“Pallid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pal·​lid ˈpal-əd How to pronounce pallid (audio)
: lacking healthy color : pale
pallidly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on pallid

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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