: a word, verse, or sentence (such as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (such as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward
Did You Know?
Palindromic wordplay is nothing new. Palindromes have been around since at least the days of ancient Greece, and our name for them comes from two Greek words, palin, meaning "back" or "again," and dramein, meaning "to run." Nowadays, we can all appreciate a clever palindrome (such as "Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard" or "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama"), or even a simple one like "race car," but in the past palindromes were more than just smart wordplay. Until well into the 19th century some folks thought palindromes were actually magical, and they carved them on walls or amulets to protect people or property from harm.
The teacher asked the class if anyone could think of a single word palindrome with 7 letters. After a couple minutes, Mia raised her hand and said "repaper."
"He went on to create Noxon Tools, named for a small Montana town.… Noxon is a palindrome—spelled the same way forward or backward." — Cindy Hval, The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington), 13 Mar. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What word is distantly related to Greek dramein ("to run") and is the name for a camel?VIEW THE ANSWER
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