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Denotation vs. Connotation

pale1

[peyl] /peɪl/
adjective, paler, palest.
1.
lacking intensity of color; colorless or whitish:
a pale complexion.
2.
of a low degree of chroma, saturation, or purity; approaching white or gray:
pale yellow.
3.
not bright or brilliant; dim:
the pale moon.
4.
faint or feeble; lacking vigor:
a pale protest.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), paled, paling.
5.
to make or become pale:
to pale at the sight of blood.
Origin of pale1
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Middle French < Latin pallidus pallid
Related forms
palely, adverb
paleness, noun
Can be confused
pale, pail, pall, pallor (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. Pale, pallid, wan imply an absence of color, especially from the human countenance. Pale implies a faintness or absence of color, which may be natural when applied to things, the pale blue of a violet, but when used to refer to the human face usually means an unnatural and often temporary absence of color, as arising from sickness or sudden emotion: pale cheeks. Pallid , limited mainly to the human countenance, implies an excessive paleness induced by intense emotion, disease, or death: the pallid lips of the dying man. Wan implies a sickly paleness, as after a long illness: wan and thin; the suggestion of weakness may be more prominent than that of lack of color: a wan smile. 5. blanch, whiten.
Antonyms
1. ruddy. 5. darken.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for palest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her hair was the palest yellow I had almost ever seen—the colour of an early primrose.

    The Return Of The Soul Robert S. Hichens
  • You saw her hair as far as you could see her sex, and knew that it was the palest brown.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • There in a patch of soil that was almost sandy was a great patch of violets of palest hue, with deep orange eyes.

    Ethel Morton's Enterprise Mabell S.C. Smith
  • It was the palest of all—paler even than Archer's name, which was below it.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate Freeman Wills Crofts
  • Her pinkish white skin seemed transparent, her eyes were the palest blue and her hair was bright yet pale gold.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • It is very beautiful—of palest brown, like coffee ice-cream.

    Peggy in Her Blue Frock Eliza Orne White
  • Barbara lifted from the trunk a gown of heavy white brocade, figured with violets in lavender and palest green.

    Flower of the Dusk Myrtle Reed
  • "Yes," said Lance, with the faintest of smiles on the palest of faces.

British Dictionary definitions for palest

pale1

/peɪl/
adjective
1.
lacking brightness of colour; whitish: pale morning light
2.
(of a colour) whitish; produced by a relatively small quantity of colouring agent
3.
dim or wan: the pale stars
4.
feeble: a pale effort
5.
(South African) a euphemism for White
verb
6.
to make or become pale or paler; blanch
7.
(intransitive) often foll by before. to lose superiority or importance (in comparison to): her beauty paled before that of her hostess
Derived Forms
palely, adverb
paleness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French palle, from Latin pallidus pale, from pallēre to look wan

pale2

/peɪl/
noun
1.
a wooden post or strip used as an upright member in a fence
2.
an enclosing barrier, esp a fence made of pales
3.
an area enclosed by a pale
4.
a sphere of activity within which certain restrictions are applied
5.
(heraldry) an ordinary consisting of a vertical stripe, usually in the centre of a shield
6.
beyond the pale, outside the limits of social convention
verb
7.
(transitive) to enclose with pales
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pal, from Latin pālus stake; compare pole1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for palest

pale

adj.

early 14c., from Old French paile "pale, light-colored" (12c., Modern French pâle), from Latin pallidus "pale, pallid, wan, colorless," from pallere "be pale, grow pale," from PIE *pel- (2) "pale" (see pallor). Pale-face, supposed North American Indian word for "European," is attested from 1822.

n.

early 13c. (c.1200 in Anglo-Latin), "stake, pole, stake for vines," from Old French pal and directly from Latin palus "stake, prop, wooden post," related to pangere "to fix or fasten" (see pact).

From late 14c. as "fence of pointed stakes;" figurative sense of "limit, boundary, restriction" is from c.1400. Barely surviving in beyond the pale and similar phrases. Meaning "the part of Ireland under English rule" is from 1540s, via sense of "territory held by power of a nation or people" (mid-15c.).

v.

late 14c., "become pale; appear pale" (also, in Middle English, "to make pale"), from Old French paleir (12c.) or from pale (adj.). Related: Paled; paling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with palest

pale

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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