Word of the Day

: January 3, 2022


noun PAL-un-drohm

What It Means

A palindrome is a word, verse, or sentence (as "Able was I ere I saw Elba"), or a number (as 2002) that reads the same backward or forward.

// Hannah was amused when Otto pointed out that they both had first names that were palindromes.

See the entry >

palindrome in Context

"The original members—Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni, whose first names form the palindrome ABBA—were a perpetual presence on the radio airwaves during their 1972 to '82 heyday, and one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music." — Ray Schweibert, The Atlantic City (New Jersey) Weekly, 16 Nov. 2021

Did You Know?

Palindrome comes from Greek palindromos, meaning "running back again," which itself is from palin ("back," "again") and dramein ("to run"). Nowadays, we 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. Some folks thought they were magical, and they carved them on walls or amulets for protection.


What is the name for a word made by transposing the letters of another word (for example, secure and rescue)?



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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