from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- Describing behaviour that is considered to be outside the bounds of morality, good behaviour or judgement in civilised company.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. outside the limits of what is allowed or proper; also, outside the limits within which one is protected.
It is not surprising that Malthus was regarded as beyond the pale of decent-thinking people.
Twenty-one years of my life have been spent in slavery -- personal slavery -- surrounded by degrading influences, such as can exist now here beyond the pale of slavery; and it will not be strange, if under such circumstances, I should betray, in what I have to say to you, a deficiency of that refinement which is seldom or ever found, except among persons that have experienced superior advantages to those which I have enjoyed.
But the two reports together seem so far beyond the pale of the possible that they serve to stupefy the father: "his heart grew numb," (pugh, "to grow cold").