- pale1 W3 [peıl] adj[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: Latin pallidus; PALLID]1.) having a skin colour that is very white, or whiter than it usually is▪ He looked very pale and drawn.turn/go pale▪ He suddenly went pale.▪ Sharon went deathly pale and looked as if she might faint.▪ an elderly, pale-faced woman2.) a pale colour has more white in it than usual→↑deep= ↑light▪ pale blue curtains3.) pale light is not bright▪ the pale gray dawn4.) pale imitation (of sth)something that is similar to, but not as good as, something else▪ The cheese is a pale imitation of real Parmesan.pale 2pale2 v1.) [i]literary if your face pales, it becomes whiter than usual because you have had a shock▪ Kent's face paled when he saw that Rob had a knife.2.) pale into insignificanceto seem much less important when compared to something bigger, worse, more serious etc▪ The amounts of money involved pale into insignificance when compared with the sums spent each year on research.3.) pale in/by comparisonto seem small or unimportant compared to something elsepale in/by comparison to/with▪ Today's economic problems pale in comparison with those of the 1930s.pale 3pale3 n[Date: 1400-1500; Origin: pale 'limit' (15-18 centuries), from 'fence' (14-19 centuries), from 'pointed piece of wood driven into the ground' (14-20 centuries), from Old French pal, from Latin palus]beyond the paleoffensive or unacceptable▪ His opinions are entirely beyond the pale.
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.