Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pale - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective pale pronunciation in British English /peɪl/
Word Forms
  1. 2
    a pale person has skin that is lighter than usual because they are ill, shocked, or worried

    When he returned, he looked pale and weary.

  2. 3
    less impressive or not as good as before or when compared with someone or something similar
    a pale shadow:

    He’s become a pale shadow of his former self.

    a pale imitation:

    The squad had become a pale imitation of the team that defeated New Zealand.

    Synonyms and related words

derived word



sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play