pal·​lor | \ ˈpa-lər How to pronounce pallor (audio) \

Definition of pallor

: deficiency of color especially of the face : paleness The boy's sickly pallor concerned his parents.

Examples of pallor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many faces on the streets still showed winter pallor. Washington Post, "Our Friday had that summertime feel; highs were in the 80s," 27 Mar. 2021 The administration cast a pallor over science at every level of government. Shannon Dosemagen, Scientific American, "Science Needs to Face Up to Its Racist History," 12 Mar. 2021 Gloria's comb is the exact powdered red of a fresh stick of gum, whereas Darkness's comb has the waxy pallor of a plastic toy left too long in the sun. Marion Winik, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Brood,' by Jackie Polzin," 5 Mar. 2021 The chalky material did soften the features for a while, but its highly toxic qualities soon caused a more corpse-like pallor. Ethan Croft, The Economist, "Vanity can be fatal," 13 Aug. 2020 Honor White was propped up in the right position for a pneumonic, but her breathing was loud and her pallor was greenish. Emma Donoghue, The Atlantic, "The Blood Tax," 12 May 2020 The apparatus around my kid, the oxygen tube in her nose, the crooked little hat on her head, her wormy pallor scared me. Matthew Klam, The New Yorker, "The Liver," 9 Mar. 2020 After noting the jaundiced pallor of Miller’s skin, a doctor cut into the abdomen and examined the internal organs. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Before there was coronavirus, there was yellow fever. Fear of it once gripped D.C.," 11 Feb. 2020 The fluid, a tinted potion of formaldehyde and other chemicals (some funeral homes now offer a nonformaldehyde alternative), is designed to erase the natural pallor of death and plump up the skin. Maggie Jones, New York Times, "The Movement to Bring Death Closer," 19 Dec. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pallor

Middle English pallour, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French palur, pallor "paleness, wanness, pale yellow color (of gold), borrowed from Latin pallor "paleness of complexion, loss of color," noun derivative, with the suffix -ōr-, -or (early Latin -ōs), from the base of pallēre "to be pale or bloodless, have a pale color," pallidus "pale, colorless" — more at fallow entry 1

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Time Traveler for pallor

Time Traveler

The first known use of pallor was in the 15th century

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Statistics for pallor

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pallor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pallor



English Language Learners Definition of pallor

formal : paleness especially of the face that is caused by illness


pal·​lor | \ ˈpa-lər How to pronounce pallor (audio) \

Kids Definition of pallor

: paleness of face


pal·​lor | \ ˈpal-ər How to pronounce pallor (audio) \

Medical Definition of pallor

: deficiency of color especially of the face : paleness patients in hemorrhagic shock may exhibit extreme pallorScientific American Medicine

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