Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
1. A stake or pointed stick; a picket.
2. A fence enclosing an area.
3. The area enclosed by a fence or boundary.
a. A region or district lying within an imposed boundary or constituting a separate jurisdiction.
b. Pale The medieval dominions of the English in Ireland. Used with the.
5. Heraldry A wide vertical band in the center of an escutcheon.
tr.v. paled, pal·ing, palesIdiom:
To enclose with pales; fence in.
beyond the pale
Irrevocably unacceptable or unreasonable: behavior that was quite beyond the pale.
adj. pal·er, pal·est
1. Whitish in complexion; pallid.
a. Of a low intensity of color; light.
b. Having high lightness and low saturation.
3. 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).
4. Feeble; weak: a pale rendition of the aria.
v. paled, pal·ing, pales
To cause to turn pale.
1. To become pale; blanch: paled with fright.
2. To decrease in relative importance.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pallidus, from pallēre, to be pale; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.