Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. For example: A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • n. A segment of double-stranded DNA in which the nucleotide sequence of one strand reads in reverse order to that of the complementary strand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A word, phrase, number or any other sequence of units which has the property of reading the same forwards as it does backwards, character for character, sometimes disregarding punctuation, capitalization and diacritics.
  • n. A poetic form in which the sequence of words reads the same in either direction.
  • n. A stretch of DNA in which the sequence of nucleotides on one strand are in the reverse order to that of the complementary strand

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A word, verse, or sentence, that is the same when read backward or forward

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A word, verse, or sentence that reads the same either from left to right or from right to left. The English language has few palindromes. Examples are—“Madam, I'm Adam” (supposed speech of Adam to Eve); “lewd did I live & evil I did dwel” (John Taylor).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a word or phrase that reads the same backward as forward

Etymologies

From Greek palindromos, running back again, recurring : palin, again; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots + dromos, a running.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek παλίνδρομος (palindromos, "running back again"), from πάλιν (palin, "back, again, back again") + δρόμος (dromos, "running, race, racecourse") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I can only liken this to one of Bob Dylans songs – written completely as a palindrome … or more recently Weird Als song also in palindrome entitled Bob.

    What is missing? « Write Anything

  • According to Wikipedia, a palindrome is “a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that has the property of reading the same in either direction.”

    A problem with palindromes?

  • Just reading a palindrome is a pretty good mental workout.

    The Next Ten Minutes

  • For the hook and the boot and the pink thing I am willing to offer a 10,000 word palindrome that is also an anagram for the first 10,000 words of the KJV Old Testament and also encodes a non-trivial portion of the genome of a healthy member of the mammal or fish species of your choice while still making at least three 3 pithy and trenchant observations about whatever it was

    Elevation: Raise Yer Game, Internets, for I Am Giving Away Hooks

  • And I thought my “I found a 1200 word palindrome to get out of a Music Theory final in grad school” was good …

    Taggy Taggerson and The Tagbots | Her Bad Mother

  • * A palindrome is a word, phrase or car repair manual which reads the same backwards and forwards.

    Heard By a Bird: December 3

  • And I thought my "I found a 1200 word palindrome to get out of a Music Theory final in grad school" was good...

    Taggy Taggerson and The Tagbots

  • A palindrome is a word or a number or even a song that's the same backwards and forwards.

    CNN Transcript Feb 20, 2002

  • Martin's dexterity with words hit a peak in 2009, when he created a 224-word palindrome poem called Dammit I'm Mad.

    Film | guardian.co.uk

  • A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sentence that reads the same in both directions.

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Comments

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  • A different sort of palindrome.

    February 19, 2011

  • How come palindrome isn't spelled this same backwards and forwards?

    April 24, 2010

  • A 224 word palindrome:

    "Dammit I’m Mad"

    by

    Demetri Martin

    Dammit I’m mad.
    Evil is a deed as I live.
    God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
    To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
    Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
    Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
    I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog�?.
    Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
    In my halo of a mired rum tin.
    I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
    Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
    No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
    Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
    Be still if I fill its ebb.
    Ew, a spider… eh?
    We sleep. Oh no!
    Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
    Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
    Both, one… my names are in it.
    Murder? I’m a fool.
    A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
    A Goddam level I lived at.
    On mail let it in. I’m it.
    Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
    A loss it is alas (sip). I’d assign it a name.
    Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
    “Sir, I deliver. I’m a dog�?
    Evil is a deed as I live.
    Dammit I’m mad.

    March 4, 2009

  • Young Sten nets gnu. Oy!

    November 2, 2008

  • I found this Sator square on an Italian website:
    Sator amabo taxat Obama rotas
    "Sower Obama, as a favor to me, keeps touching his wheels".

    October 29, 2008

  • The second one of those is brilliant!

    October 28, 2008

  • Maybe we can call these 'palindrones.'

    October 28, 2008

  • two Palin-dromes:

    Wasilla's all I saw.
    Peeks at foe Russia, is sure of task. Eep!

    (from the AWAD newsletter)

    October 28, 2008

  • Bilby's recent seeding of many excellent palindromes in various places around the Wordieverse reminds me of two things:

    1. I love palindromes.
    2. I suck at creating them. The best I can do is "You buoy!" or "Yo, Bob! Oy!"

    October 19, 2008

  • delia sailed as sad elias ailed ;)

    June 30, 2008

  • See a whole list of these at DYSLEXIC'S DELIGHT.

    May 23, 2008

  • Anyone here seen the film "Palindrome"? It's very disturbing, but in the end one of the characters explains what a palindrome is and then recites one that is classic. -Definitely the best laugh of an otherwise dark drama.

    January 30, 2008

  • Oh, chiasmus. That's like the word racecar, isn't it? ;-)

    January 26, 2008

  • U: There you go again with unwarranted assumptions. I can tell a palindrome from an example of chiasmus at 100 paces, no matter what you care to call your contributions.

    And I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    January 25, 2008

  • I think a lot of people around here are confused about what a palindrome is, and some are confused about what it is not. (See, I made one right there!!)

    January 25, 2008

  • I LOVE THE DOVE
    (a poem, of sorts)


    I love the dove.
    I do yoga today.
    Anita washes the bath.
    The abbot gave rice to the vixen.
    Vixen, we already have rice!

    Don't see the point? Who could blame you? Let's try it again, in Spanish:

    AMO LA PALOMA

    Amo la paloma.
    Yo hago yoga hoy.
    Anita lava la tina.
    Dábale arroz a la zorra el abad
    ¡ Zorra, ya hay arroz !

    January 25, 2008

  • Didn't Bacon collaborate with the Earl of Sandwich too?

    January 25, 2008

  • I always mix those guys up. ;->

    January 25, 2008

  • No, that was the Earl of Oxford in collaboration with Bacon.

    January 25, 2008

  • Wasn't Shakespeare the guy who wrote Colours of Good and Evil and the Meditationes Sacrae?

    January 25, 2008

  • Oh come on, oroboros, that's not a palindrome!

    January 25, 2008

  • "A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal---Panama!"

    -- Guy L. Steele, Jr.

    January 25, 2008

  • Shakespeare? Never heard of the guy. What does he write?

    January 25, 2008

  • She sells seashells by the seashore.

    January 25, 2008

  • Are you thinking of "to be or not to be?" That's a definite palindrome. That Shakespeare sure knew his stuff.

    January 25, 2008

  • Ooh, ooh...isn't "Do be a do bee" one also? That's either from Frank Sinatra or Romper Room...

    January 25, 2008

  • Ooh, I know a good palindrome too!
    Never let a kiss fool you, or a fool kiss you.

    January 25, 2008

  • Best palindrome ever.

    January 24, 2008

  • Do as I say, not as I do.

    January 24, 2008

  • Was it a car or a cat I saw?

    A Toyota's a Toyota.

    A dog, a panic in a pagoda.

    January 5, 2008

  • That's just scary.

    September 18, 2007

  • Wow!

    September 17, 2007

  • The longest palindrome in the world.

    September 17, 2007

  • Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog!

    September 17, 2007

  • Spot's regal lager's tops!

    September 17, 2007

  • I always think of TMBG when I hear this word - not only "I Palindrome I" but so many of John L's lyrics are all about the palindromes.

    Also, for some reason this word reminds me of dromedary.

    May 18, 2007

  • My favorite palindrome:

    A man, a plan, a canal: panama

    December 26, 2006

  • palindrome: How I learned the definition:


    Anna is a palindrome. So is Otto.

    December 10, 2006