palm off


1 [pahm]
the part of the inner surface of the hand that extends from the wrist to the bases of the fingers.
the corresponding part of the forefoot of an animal.
the part of a glove covering this part of the hand.
Also called sailmaker's palm. a stiff rawhide or metal shield worn over this part of the hand by sailmakers to serve as a thimble.
a linear measure of from 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm), based on the breadth of the hand.
a linear measure of from 7 to 10 inches (17.5 to 25 cm), based on the length of the hand.
the flat, expanded part of the horn or antler of a deer.
a flat, widened part at the end of an armlike projection.
the blade of an oar.
the inner face of an anchor fluke. See diag. under anchor.
(loosely) an anchor fluke.
a flat-topped bearing member at the head of a stanchion.
verb (used with object)
to conceal in the palm, as in cheating at cards or dice or in juggling.
to pick up stealthily.
to hold in the hand.
to impose (something) fraudulently (usually followed by on or upon ): to palm stolen jewels on someone.
to touch or stroke with the palm or hand.
to shake hands with.
Basketball. to grip (the ball) momentarily with the hand in the act of dribbling.
Verb phrases
palm off, to dispose of by deception, trickery, or fraud; substitute (something) with intent to deceive: Someone had palmed off a forgery on the museum officials.
grease someone's palm, to bribe: Before any work could begin, it was necessary to grease the superintendent's palm. Also, cross someone's palm.

1300–50; < Latin palma (cognate with Old English folm hand); replacing Middle English paume < Middle French < Latin palma Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To palm off
World English Dictionary
palm1 (pɑːm)
1.  the inner part of the hand from the wrist to the base of the fingersRelated: thenar, volar
2.  a corresponding part in animals, esp apes and monkeys
3.  a linear measure based on the breadth or length of a hand, equal to three to four inches or seven to ten inches respectively
4.  the part of a glove that covers the palm
5.  a hard leather shield worn by sailmakers to protect the palm of the hand
6.  a.  the side of the blade of an oar that faces away from the direction of a boat's movement during a stroke
 b.  the face of the fluke of an anchor
7.  a flattened or expanded part of the antlers of certain deer
8.  in the palm of one's hand at one's mercy or command
9.  to conceal in or about the hand, as in sleight-of-hand tricks
10.  to touch or soothe with the palm of the hand
Related: thenar, volar
[C14 paume, via Old French from Latin palma; compare Old English folm palm of the hand, Greek palamē]

palm2 (pɑːm)
1.  any treelike plant of the tropical and subtropical monocotyledonous family Arecaceae (formerly Palmae or Palmaceae), usually having a straight unbranched trunk crowned with large pinnate or palmate leaves
2.  a leaf or branch of any of these trees, a symbol of victory, success, etc
3.  merit or victory
4.  an emblem or insignia representing a leaf or branch worn on certain military decorations
[Old English, from Latin palma, from the likeness of its spreading fronds to a hand; see palm1]

palm off
vb (often foll by on)
1.  to offer, sell, or spend fraudulently: to palm off a counterfeit coin
2.  to divert in order to be rid of: I palmed the unwelcome visitor off on John

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"flat of the hand," c.1300, from O.Fr. palme, from L. palma "palm of the hand," from PIE *pela- "to spread out, flat" (cf. Gk. palame "open hand," O.Ir. lam, Welsh llaw O.E. folm, O.H.G. folma "hand," Skt. panih "hand, hoof"). To palm (something) off is from 1822; earlier simply to palm "impose (something)
on (someone)" (1679). Palm oil is earlier in the punning sense of "bribe" (c.1627) than in the literal sense of "oil from the fruit of the W.African palm" (1705, from palm (2)).

"tropical tree," O.E. palma, O.Fr. palme, both from L. palma "palm tree," originally "palm of the hand;" the tree so called from the shape of its leaves, like fingers of a hand (see palm (1)). The word traveled early to northern Europe, where the tree does not grow, via Christianity
(e.g. O.E. palm-sunnandæg "Palm Sunday"). In ancient times, a leaf or frond was carried or worn as a symbol of victory or triumph, or on feast days; hence fig. use of palm for "victory, triumph" (c.1386), and adj. palmy "triumphant" (1602). Palm court "large room in a hotel, etc., usually decorated with potted palms" first recorded 1908. Palmer "pilgrim who has returned from the Holy Land" (1176, as a surname) is from Anglo-Fr. palmer (O.Fr. palmier), from M.L. palmarius, from L. palma "palm tree." So called because they wore palm branches in commemoration of the journey.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

palm (päm)
The inner surface of the hand that extends from the wrist to the base of the fingers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

palm off

Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive, as in The salesman tried to palm off a zircon as a diamond, or The producer tried to palm her off as a star from the Metropolitan Opera. This expression alludes to concealing something in the palm of one's hand. It replaced the earlier palm on in the early 1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Related Searches
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature