\ˈpal \

Definition of pal 

(Entry 1 of 5)

: a close friend


palled; palling

Definition of pal (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

: to be or become pals : associate as pals they've palled around for years

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Other Words from pal


palship \ˈpal-ˌship \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pal

Synonyms: Noun

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, friend, intimate

Antonyms: Noun

enemy, foe

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Examples of pal in a Sentence


We've been pals since we were kids. Come on—be a pal and lend me the money.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Friends’ reunion The pals didn’t even get a chance to talk. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Tag, you’re it: Woman flies 4,000 miles to ‘tag’ her friend in epic game of tag," 28 June 2018 Rashida Jones is always a welcome presence, but her character Cheryl, a longtime crush of both Chilli and Bob, is there to stir up some tension between the pals (at Jerry’s devious design) and not much else. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Playful ‘Tag’ is summer fluff with a heart," 15 June 2018 Rashida Jones is always a welcome presence, but her character Cheryl, a longtime crush of both Chilli and Bob, is only there to stir up some tension between the pals (at Jerry's devious design) and not much else. Author: Katie Walsh, Anchorage Daily News, "Review: Like the game, ‘Tag’ is a whole lot of fun," 14 June 2018 At the behest of his new celebrity pal Kim Kardashian, the president is leaning towards pardoning Alice Marie Johnson, who is serving a life-sentence for drug possession and money laundering. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump is pardon-giddy. Is that a constitutional problem?," 6 June 2018 Gomez shared an adorable photo of her holding hands with her new pal Nellie on Instagram, thanking the WE Movement for all their hard work. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Selena Gomez Attends WE Day 2018, Spends the Day With Young Fan Who Suffers From Kidney Disease," 19 Apr. 2018 Instead of destroying the distraction once and for all, Wilson lets the simulation linger on, with he and his new pals set to rule it as benevolent billionaire oligarchs. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Push the Red Button, Parzival," 30 Mar. 2018 There’s no doubt that Andrew Cunanan had charm and charisma, but the scene where the extremely fit Darren Criss strips down at a public beach in front of his new pal Ronnie seems very unlikely to have happened in real life. Eliza Thompson, Cosmopolitan, "Everything in The Assassination of Gianni Versace That Really Happened (And What Didn't)," 15 Feb. 2018 Hurl yourself off a bridge, said his new pal, with just a thick rubber rope around your ankle to stop you from splattering on the ground below. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "How New Zealand Invented Adventure Sports," 4 Dec. 2017

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


circa 1886, in the meaning defined above


1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pal


Romany phral, phal brother, friend, from Sanskrit bhrātṛ brother; akin to Old English brōthor brother

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Dictionary Entries near pal







palace car

Phrases Related to pal

gal pal

pal around with

pal up

Statistics for pal

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pal

The first known use of pal was in 1875

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More Definitions for pal



English Language Learners Definition of pal

: a close friend

—used to address a man in an angry or annoyed way


\ˈpal \

Kids Definition of pal

: a close friend

Legal Definition of PAL 

passive activity loss

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Comments on pal

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


not any or not one

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