Definition of pale in English:

pale

Line breaks: pale
Pronunciation: /peɪl
 
/

adjective

1Light in colour or shade; containing little colour or pigment: choose pale floral patterns for walls
More example sentences
  • I had never lived anywhere that had a rainy season and could not imagine that I would open my shoe closet one day to find all my shoes a fuzzy shade of pale green.
  • From the back pocket of her jeans, she takes a smooth polished stone, shades of pale green swirled inside it like ocean waves.
  • Little wonder almost all of them dabbled in different shades of pale green and blue.
Synonyms
light, light-coloured, pastel, neutral, light-toned, muted, subtle, soft, low-key, restrained; faded, bleached, dusty, whitish, washed out, insipid
1.1(Of a person or their complexion) having less colour than usual, typically as a result of shock, fear, or ill health: she looked pale and drawn
More example sentences
  • She is in shock, and her pale complexion is becoming more and more flecked with blood.
  • He was clean shaven, with a pale complexion and drawn cheeks.
  • She was pale skinned with some freckles and a pixie nose.
Synonyms
1.2 [usually attributive] (Of a light) not strong or bright: a pale dawn
More example sentences
  • The moon is radiant, glowing bright as pale sunshine, revealing the white caps of the waves twelve stories below.
  • I watched with dry, weary eyes as the pale light of dawn overwhelmed the amber glow of the Parisian night sky.
  • Above him only a pale light, like dawn, silhouetted shadowy figures, half-human, half-mist.
Synonyms
2Inferior or unimpressive: the new cheese is a pale imitation of continental cheeses
More example sentences
  • The irony is that if he had done the decent thing he may well have taken a hit in the polls, but it wouldn't have been as big as the hit he took by appearing to be a pale imitation of the Prime Minister.
  • While it will satisfy a chicken craving, the food is a pale imitation of fiery Jamaican fare and not as straightforward as your average rotisserie.
  • Kilmarnock, with six experienced players missing, were a pale imitation of the side Jim Jefferies would have liked to have sent out at Parkhead.
Synonyms
inferior, poor, feeble, weak, insipid, wishy-washy, vapid, bland, puny, flat, inadequate, ineffectual, ineffective, half-hearted; lame, tame, uninspired, unimaginative, lacklustre, spiritless, lifeless, anaemic, bloodless
informal pathetic
rare etiolated

verb

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1Become pale in one’s face from shock or fear: I paled at the thought of what she might say
More example sentences
  • Georgi Malenkov, in the chair, paled for fear that the other members would not instantly stand up to protest and demand that the request be denied.
  • What lay before her struck her like a dagger, causing her to pale with fear, even begin to sob silently.
  • His face paled, and his eyes went wide with shock.
Synonyms
go/turn white, grow/turn/become pale, blanch, blench, lose colour; whiten, lighten
2Seem or become less important: all else pales by comparison
More example sentences
  • Both of those paled into insignificance in comparison to episode three, though.
  • As much as he enjoyed his career, it paled into insignificance beside the love he felt for his family.
  • Hunting is important to me but it pales in comparison to family responsibility.
Synonyms
decrease in importance, lose significance, pale into insignificance; fade, dwindle, diminish, lessen, dim, lose lustre

Origin

Middle English: from Old French pale, from Latin pallidus; the verb is from Old French palir.

Derivatives

palely

adverb
More example sentences
  • At intermission, sun streams in from the Neva side; when the performance ends, it still gleams palely off the river.
  • Cowering in a corner, eyelashes palely blinking, Amis looks as if he hopes to get through his 15 minutes of network fame by going entirely unrecognised.
  • The moon peeked through the snow clouds as we tramped the palely gleaming moorland tracks and stood, still and silent, on the white side roads among the conifers.

paleness

noun
More example sentences
  • The presence of one's beloved causes paleness of complexion.
  • The only exception to this is post-war Europe, which only received better treatment due to the paleness of its inhabitants.
  • Gwen, who is too heavy on the bleach at the end, and melts away into indeterminate paleness, survives through the excellent stubbornness of her direction.

palish

adjective
More example sentences
  • If she's still wearing something, it's a pair of black pants and a lacy tank top, her hair is long and dark, she's palish with big hazel eyes.
  • Our palish bodies now somewhat tanned as we headed into the city limits of L.A.
  • Their Urine is palish and mean in substance, and they dream of fearful things, terrible visions and darkness.

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