Definition of pallium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpalɪəm/

noun (plural pallia /ˈpalɪə/ or palliums)

1A woollen vestment conferred by the Pope on an archbishop, consisting of a narrow circular band placed round the shoulders with a short lappet hanging from front and back.
Example sentences
  • Within a short time of his election, a formal inauguration ceremony takes place, at which the woollen pallium is bestowed upon him.
  • Among the most important parts of the mass to bless Benedict XVI will be when he receives his Fisherman's Ring and the pallium, a narrow stole of white wool embroidered with five red silk crosses, pinned with three jewelled gold pins.
  • If the degradandus be an archbishop, the degrading prelate removes his pallium.
2 historical A man’s large rectangular cloak, especially as worn by Greek philosophical and religious teachers.
Example sentences
  • The one figure that remains to be reconsidered within this arrangement of matter in Rubens's painting is the Pan flanked by a pinelike tree and draped with a cloak resembling a Greek pallium.
  • The double cloak here is the diplois, the pallium, doubled in length, worn without the underlying tunic or any other undergarment by ascetics and Cynic philosophers.
  • On the bronze statue now in Milan, the very work Carpaccio used as his model, the pedestal carries a dense motif of foliage, and the hem of Christ's pallium drops down sharply below the level of his feet.
3 Zoology The mantle of a mollusc or brachiopod.
Example sentences
  • In ray-finned fishes, however, the pallium thickens and everts, so that the initial most dorsal pallial segment comes to lie lateral to the remaining pallium.
  • In contrary to those two shell layers produced in the apertural area of the shell, there is another which is made all over the pallium (mantle) on the inside of the shell.
  • The soft parts of bivalves are divided into five groups: mantle or pallium, gills, foot and byssus, muscles, and visceral mass.
4 Anatomy The outer wall of the mammalian cerebrum, corresponding to the cerebral cortex.
Example sentences
  • In mammals, the components are incorporated into the thin overlying pallium to form a laminated neocortex.
  • Differences in the relative topography of pallial marker genes also define different regions of the pallium, which can be partially traced into the amygdala.



sense 3, sense 4.
Example sentences
  • The pallial line is whole, becoming more deeply impressed and consisting of pits in the dorsal part of the shell.
  • The K / T extinction was not strongly selective according to morphology or ecology, although there was a very slight tendency for victims to have deeper pallial sinuses than survivors.
  • The exploration of novel pallial morphospace occurs primarily during the first interval of recovery, although one subgenus from the final interval also contributes to the pattern.


Middle English: from Latin, literally 'covering'.

Words that rhyme with pallium

allium, gallium, thallium, valium

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pal|lium

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