There are 2 definitions of palm in English:


Syllabification: palm
Pronunciation: /pä(l)m


(also palm tree)
  • 1An unbranched evergreen tree with a crown of long feathered or fan-shaped leaves, and typically having old leaf scars forming a regular pattern on the trunk. Palms grow in warm regions, especially the tropics.
    • Family Palmae (or Arecaceae): numerous genera and species, some of which are of great commercial importance, e.g., the oil palm, date palm, and coconut
    More example sentences
    • They even feel attached to the tree or the palm tree that might stand outside their home.
    • The California Fan Palm is the only palm tree native to western North America and its natural range is farther south.
    • So I obediently drew two leaves, belonging to a palm tree just beyond the verandah.
  • 1.1A leaf of a palm tree awarded as a prize or viewed as a symbol of victory or triumph: the consensus was that the palm should go to Doerner
    More example sentences
    • Albeit there are those latter-day scientists who would tend instead to award the ancestral palm to the lung-fish.
    • Note that Jacopo adds something not prescribed - an angel swooping down with a palm, symbol of martyrdom.
    • Step forward for a palm of victory.
    prize, trophy, award, crown, laurel wreath, laurels, bays


Old English palm(a), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch palm and German Palme, from Latin palma 'palm (of a hand)', its leaf being likened to a spread hand.

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Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: məˈlôrd
used to address an English nobleman

There are 2 definitions of palm in English:


Syllabification: palm
Pronunciation: /


  • 1The inner surface of the hand between the wrist and fingers.
    More example sentences
    • In this test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers down over your thumb.
    • I love the small of her back and the inside of her wrist and the palm of her hand.
    • I dig my fingernails into the palm of my hand, it wraps into a fist.
  • 1.1A part of a glove that covers the palm of the hand.
    More example sentences
    • W S. Tooker devised an ingenious method of uniting animal fur backs and leather palms for a seamless back gauntlet.
    • In the palms of his black gloves, the crystal flute sparkled with the sun's ray.
    • A blue glow gathered in the palm of the right glove, and blood on pants, cloak, and tunic incinerated and fell as ash to the ground.
  • 1.2A hard shield worn on the hand by sailmakers to protect the palm in sewing.
    More example sentences
    • The main difference is that the roping palm is heavier and has deeper recessed dimples and a tougher leather backing.
    • The inspiration for the poem came initially from seeing a sailmaker's palm in the maritime museum in Greenock when I was over there visiting a writer's workshop.
  • 1.3The palmate part of an antler.
    More example sentences
    • These findings strongly indicate that the palm of moose antlers may serve as an effective, parabolic reflector which increases the acoustic pressure of the incoming sound
    • The lateral presentation of the antler palm between male fallow deer has been described as either a signal of individual quality or an attempt to avoid fighting.


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  • 1 [with object] Conceal (a card or other small object) in the hand, especially as part of a trick or theft: he would spin wild tales while palming your wristwatch
    More example sentences
    • He wasn't going to eat/take the wafer, as it was a bit silly and unnecessary for him to do so, so he discreetly palmed it.
    • I palmed the offending items into a napkin and slipped the obscene bundle into my trouser pocket for disposal later.
    • He heard the bedroom door creak open and quickly palmed the note he had found.
  • 2 [with object] Hit (something) with the palm of the hand.
    More example sentences
    • Friedel saves the day when he palms a shot from Parker over the bar.
    • East Stirlingshire keeper Scott Finlay was called into action to deny Allan midway through the second half, palming the midfielder's shot behind for a corner.
    • Roberts should have done better than shoot tamely wide when more clever work by Moran led to Bracey palming his acute-angled shot into the big striker's path.
  • 2.1 Basketball Illegally grip (the ball) with the hand while dribbling.
    More example sentences
    • The kids have adapted; they can do the crossover without palming.
    • Palming is another violation which occurs when a player momentarily stops his dribble by turning his wrist and "cupping" the ball.
    • Basketball rules states if the ball handler doesn't ‘palm’ the ball or place their hand under the ball, there is no dribbling violation.


have (or hold) someone in the palm of one's hand

Have someone under one’s control or influence: she had the audience in the palm of her hand
More example sentences
  • President McAleese addressed the large crowd and within moments she held them in the palm of her hand as, referring to just a few jotted notes, she made a truly inspiring speech which will stay with all present for a long time to come.
  • When it came to his speech, he had us in the palm of his hand from early on with a few jokes about his time in the hot seat and his dealings with the president and others.
  • But by the end Ross had them in the palm of her hand.
have control over, have influence over, have someone eating out of one's hand, have someone on a string, have someone in one's hip pocket, have someone wrapped around one's finger

read someone's palm

Tell someone’s fortune by looking at the lines on their palm.
More example sentences
  • People used to ask her to read their palm or cards and she did.
  • He read my palm and told me a lot of interesting things, including that I am under protection from the Divine - when I am getting into dangerous situations, it will get me out of them.
  • A man in India read my palm and said I'm going to die at 110.

Phrasal verbs

palm someone off

informal Persuade someone to accept something by deception: most sellers are palmed off with a fraction of what something is worth
More example sentences
  • When I reported this to the supermarket, they palmed me off to some company they claimed monitored the car park for them.
  • She turned vegetarian at the age of four and her parents tried to palm her off with fish fingers.
  • The quicker they palm you off, the more they make.

palm something off

Sell or dispose of something by misrepresentation or fraud: they palmed off their shoddiest products on the Russians
More example sentences
  • In the weeks that followed, the baby was palmed off to family, friends and neighbours.
  • Everyone is therefore keen on palming it off as quickly as possible.
  • I realised I could probably try to palm it off to some people around my old working area.
foist, fob off, get rid of, dispose of, unload



Pronunciation: /ˈpalmər, ˈpä(l)mər/
More example sentences
  • This latest scare follows the discovery of other injuries associated with the use of computers or their accessories, including joystick digit, mouse elbow and central palmar blister on the inside of the hand.
  • The work appeared in the London Medical and Surgical Journal in 1832, detailing the surgical treatment for an affection of the palmar aponeurosis.
  • It is characterized by five major components, including multiple nevoid basal cell carcinomas, jaw cysts, congenital skeletal abnormalities, ectopic calcifications, and plantar or palmar pits.


[in combination]: sweaty-palmed


More example sentences
  • A bird becomes pale shells and arcs and slivers, a weightless palmful of light, a blown bubble of beaked skull and thin airy curves for constructing chest and back and wings.
  • I leaned back on my hands while she poured water on my hair, tiny little cupped palmfuls trickling down over my scalp.
  • She smiled back and waved a hand in gesture: as if she were tipping out a palmful of sand.


Middle English: from Old French paume, from Latin palma. Current senses of the verb date from the late 17th century.

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