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

  • n. A stake or pointed stick; a picket.
  • n. A fence enclosing an area.
  • n. The area enclosed by a fence or boundary.
  • n. A region or district lying within an imposed boundary or constituting a separate jurisdiction.
  • n. The medieval dominions of the English in Ireland. Used with the.
  • n. Heraldry A wide vertical band in the center of an escutcheon.
  • transitive v. To enclose with pales; fence in.
  • idiom beyond the pale Irrevocably unacceptable or unreasonable: behavior that was quite beyond the pale.
  • adj. Whitish in complexion; pallid.
  • adj. Of a low intensity of color; light.
  • adj. Having high lightness and low saturation.
  • adj. Of a low intensity of light; dim or faint: "a late afternoon sun coming through the el tracks and falling in pale oblongs on the cracked, empty sidewalks” ( Jimmy Breslin).
  • adj. Feeble; weak: a pale rendition of the aria.
  • transitive v. To cause to turn pale.
  • intransitive v. To become pale; blanch: paled with fright.
  • intransitive v. To decrease in relative importance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Light in color.
  • adj. Having a pallor (a light color, especially due to sickness, shock, fright etc.)
  • v. To become pale, to become insignificant.
  • n. Wooden stake.
  • n. Fence made from wooden stake; palisade.
  • n. Limits, bounds (especially before of).
  • n. The bounds of morality, good behaviour or judgment in civilized company, in the phrase beyond the pale.
  • n. A vertical band down the middle of a shield.
  • n. A territory or defensive area within a specific boundary or under a given jurisdiction.
  • n. The jurisdiction (territorial or otherwise) of an authority.
  • v. To enclose with pales, or as if with pales; to encircle or encompass; to fence off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wanting in color; not ruddy; dusky white; pallid; wan
  • adj. Not bright or brilliant; of a faint luster or hue; dim.
  • n. Paleness; pallor.
  • n. A pointed stake or slat, either driven into the ground, or fastened to a rail at the top and bottom, for fencing or inclosing; a picket.
  • n. That which incloses or fences in; a boundary; a limit; a fence; a palisade.
  • n. A space or field having bounds or limits; a limited region or place; an inclosure; -- often used figuratively.
  • n. A region within specified bounds, whether or not enclosed or demarcated.
  • n. A stripe or band, as on a garment.
  • n. One of the greater ordinaries, being a broad perpendicular stripe in an escutcheon, equally distant from the two edges, and occupying one third of it.
  • n. A cheese scoop.
  • n. A shore for bracing a timber before it is fastened.
  • intransitive v. To turn pale; to lose color or luster.
  • transitive v. To make pale; to diminish the brightness of.
  • transitive v. To inclose with pales, or as with pales; to encircle; to encompass; to fence off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To inclose with pales; fence.
  • To inclose; encircle; encompass.
  • Of a whitish or wan appearance; lacking color; not ruddy or fresh in color or complexion; pallid; wan: as, a pale face.
  • Lacking chromatic intensity, approximating to white or whitish blue or whitish violet: thus, moonlight and lilacs are pale. A red, yellow, or green may be called pale if very near white.
  • Of light color as compared with others of the same sort: applied especially to certain liquors: as, pale brandy; pale sherry; pale ale.
  • Synonyms Pale, Pallid, Wan, colorless. The first three words stand in the order of strength; the next degree beyond wan is ghastly, which means deathly pale. (See ghastly.) To be pale may be natural, as the pale blue of the violet; the American Indian calls the white man paleface; to be pallid or wan is a sign of ill health. Paleness may be a brief or momentary state; pallid and wan express that which is not so quickly recovered from. Pale has a wide range of application; pallid and wan apply chiefly to the human countenance, though with possible figurative extension.
  • n. Paleness; pallor.
  • To grow or turn pale; hence, to become insignificant.
  • To make pale; diminish the brightness of; dim.
  • To beat or thrash (barley), so as to detach it from the awns or chaff. See pale, n., 1.
  • n. A stake; a pointed piece of wood driven into the ground, as in a fence; a picket.
  • n. A fence or paling; that which incloses, fences in, or confines; hence, barrier, limits, bounds.
  • n. An inclosed place; an inclosure; the inclosure of a castle.
  • n. A district or region within determined bounds; hence, limits; bounds; sphere; scope.
  • n. In heraldry, a broad perpendicular stripe in an escutcheon, equally distant from the two edges and usually occupying one third of it: the first and simplest kind of ordinary. When not charged, it is often represented as containing only one fifth of the field.
  • n. A perpendicular stripe on cloth.
  • n. In ship-building, one of the interior shores for steadying the timbers of a ship in construction.
  • n. A bakers' shovel or peel.
  • n. An instrument for trying the quality of cheese; a cheese-scoop.
  • n. Chaff.
  • n. In botany, same as palea .

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

  • adj. lacking in vitality or interest or effectiveness
  • v. turn pale, as if in fear
  • n. a wooden strip forming part of a fence
  • adj. very light colored; highly diluted with white
  • adj. abnormally deficient in color as suggesting physical or emotional distress
  • adj. (of light) lacking in intensity or brightness; dim or feeble
  • adj. not full or rich


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

Middle English, from Old French pal, from Latin pālus.
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pallidus, from pallēre, to be pale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French pale, from Latin pallidus ("pale, pallid").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Latin pālus ("stake, prop").


  • The difference cannot be that our language contains a single word (˜man™) for a rational animal, but no single word for a pale man, for Aristotle has already conceded (1029b28) that we might very well have had a single term (he suggests himation, literally ˜cloak™) for a pale man, but that would still not make the formula ˜pale man™ a definition nor pale man an essence (1030a2).

    Aristotle's Metaphysics

  • The class of beings signified by a universal term of this sort is indeed prior to the universal term, e.g., the class of pale things to the universal term ˜pale™.


  • But even if unorthodox, and pro-Executive, and aggressive, readings of the law are in some cases permissible, what should be beyond the pale is acting in accord with a body of secret law. continue reading ...


  • The raw nuts are then cooked, giving off a horrible odor and cracked open to reveal what we know as the pale tan cashew nut.

    Archive 2005-09-01

  • Local ones are fleshy, ripe, and burst with flavor, according to local growers n versus what they call the pale, mealy "wannabees" coming from out of state!


  • Below, we see the children of Charles I of England (by Sir Anthony van Dyck, 1637) where the girls are swathed in pale blue and the boy in bold pink:

    Tove Hermanson: Age and Gender Appropriate Fashion

  • The first floor offices are in pale grey and feature executive desks in black leather and aluminium by Estel, together with white leather chairs by Tacchini and aluminium silver chairs from Interstuhl.

    Manchester Square Interior by SHH

  • I hate that people go out of their way to pay to get sprayed or lay in an unhealthy tanning bed because they think that being pale is ugly.

    Twilight Lexicon » Kristen Stewart and Anna Kendrick Featured in Controversial Vanity Fair Issue

  • My friend Y has covered the dashboard of her car in pale pink fake fur, on top of which sit Minnie and Mickey Mouse dolls in matching pink outfits.

    Sufficiently feminine chocolates « Gin&Comment

  • Rosario donned the number in pale blue on Tuesday and paired it with beige pumps, a matching clutch and chain-link earrings.

    Naomi Watts Or Rosario Dawson: Who Wore It Better? (PHOTOS, POLL)


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.