Definition of palmer in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːmə/


1 historical A pilgrim, especially one who had returned from the Holy Land with a palm branch or leaf as a sign of having undertaken the pilgrimage.
Example sentences
  • As a palmer (pilgrim) turned hangman, Robin rescued three of his men.
  • This last deals with a debate between a Palmer (pilgrim), a Pardoner, an apothecary and a Pedlar.
1.1An itinerant monk travelling from shrine to shrine under a vow of poverty.
Example sentences
  • In 1608 Edward Topsell, a naturalist, called them "Palmer" worms - so named after the "palmer", or wandering monk - because of their roving habits and ruggedness.
2A hairy artificial fly used in angling.
Example sentences
  • Step 4: Tie in hackle and wind in palmer style to bend
  • Dressing a fly by winding the hackle the length of the body is mentioned in fly fishing books of the fifteenth century. It is called the palmer style of dressing.
  • The soldier palmer fly is like all palmered flies inasmuch as it has a thick body with a few or no tail fibres and no wings.


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from medieval Latin palmarius 'pilgrim', from Latin palma 'palm'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.