pale

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be beyond the pale

To be unacceptable or inappropriate. A "pale" is an area bounded by a fence. Disrupting my class is beyond the pale, young lady—go to the principal's office! Most people would consider stealing to be beyond the pale.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

Completely unacceptable or inappropriate. A "pale" is an area bounded by a fence. Disrupting my class is beyond the pale, young lady—go to the principal's office! Most people would consider stealing to be beyond the pale.
See also: beyond, pale

pale by comparison

To seem less impressive when compared to someone or something else. All of my siblings are surgeons, so my art career always pales by comparison.
See also: comparison, pale

pale in comparison

To be or seem less important, impressive, or otherwise deficient when compared to someone or something else. The film was enjoyable, but it pales in comparison to the original. Though that issue is indeed serious, it pales in comparison with the threat of drug abuse that is tearing the country apart.
See also: comparison, pale

pale into insignificance

To diminish or lessen in significance, importance, impact, or value, especially over time or compared to something else. The horrible tensions and violence that used to grip this city have started to pale into insignificance as we continue this period of peace and prosperity. I've found a bit of success with my work, but it pales into insignificance compared to eternal works of the writers who inspired me.
See also: insignificance, pale

beyond the pale

Fig. unacceptable; outlawed. (A. pale is a barrier made of wooden stakes.) Your behavior is simply beyond the pale. Because of Tom's rudeness, he's considered beyond the pale and is never asked to parties anymore.
See also: beyond, pale

pale around the gills

 and blue around the gills; green around the gills
Fig. looking sick. (The around can be replaced with about.) John is looking a little pale around the gills. What's wrong? Oh, I feel a little green about the gills.
See also: around, gill, pale

*pale as a ghost

 and *pale as death
very pale. (*Also: as ~.) Laura came into the room, as pale as a ghost. "What happened?" her friends gasped. What's the matter? You're pale as death!
See also: ghost, pale

pale at something

to become weak, frightened, or pale from fear of something or the thought of something. Bob paled at the thought of having to drive all the way back to get the forgotten suitcase. We paled at the notion that we would always be poor.
See also: pale

pale beside someone or something

Fig. to appear to be weak or unimportant when compared to someone or something. He is competent, but he pales beside Fran. My meager effort pales beside your masterpiece.
See also: beside, pale

pale by comparison

 and pale in comparison
Fig. to appear to be deficient in comparison to something else. My work pales by comparison with yours. You are a real pro.
See also: comparison, pale

beyond the pale

Outside the bounds of morality, good behavior or judgment; unacceptable. For example, She thought taking the boys to a topless show was beyond the pale. The noun pale, from the Latin palum, meant "a stake for fences" or "a fence made from such stakes." By extension it came to be used for an area confined by a fence and for any boundary, limit, or restriction, both of these meanings dating from the late 1300s. The pale referred to in the idiom is usually taken to mean the English Pale, the part of Ireland under English rule, and therefore, as perceived by its rulers, within the bounds of civilization.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

COMMON If a person or their behaviour is beyond the pale, they are completely unacceptable. Any kind of physical aggression from your partner is beyond the pale. In those days divorced women were considered beyond the pale. Note: `Pale' comes from the Latin `palum', meaning `stake', and in English it came to refer to a territorial boundary marked by a line of stakes. The area inside was regarded as civilized, but the area beyond the pale was seen as barbaric.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour.
A pale (from Latin palus meaning ‘a stake’) is a pointed wooden post used with others to form a fence; from this it came to refer to any fenced enclosure. So, in literal use, beyond the pale meant the area beyond a fence. The term Pale was applied to various territories under English control and especially to the area of Ireland under English jurisdiction before the 16th century. The earliest reference ( 1547 ) to the Pale in Ireland as such draws the contrast between the English Pale and the ‘wyld Irysh’: the area beyond the pale would have been regarded as dangerous and uncivilized by the English.
See also: beyond, pale

pale into insignificance

lose importance or value.
See also: insignificance, pale

beˌyond the ˈpale

considered socially unacceptable: Her behaviour towards her employees is completely beyond the pale. She treats them like servants.A pale was a boundary made of wooden posts or the safe area inside this. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the part of Ireland that was under English rule was called the Pale. The area outside this was beyond the Pale and considered wild and dangerous by the English.
See also: beyond, pale

ˈpale beside/next to something

,

ˈpale in/by comparison (with/to something)

,

ˈpale into insignificance

seem less important when compared with something else: Last year’s riots pale in comparison with this latest outburst of violence.
See also: beside, next, pale, something

beyond the pale

Irrevocably unacceptable or unreasonable: behavior that was quite beyond the pale.
See also: beyond, pale

beyond the pale

A pale, originally a stockade made of pales of wood, was an area under the authority of a certain official. In the 14th and 15th centuries the British ruled Dublin, the surrounding area was outside the law. Anyone or anything beyond the pale was considered savage and dangerous, and the express came to mean anything unacceptable or beyond the limits of accepted morality or conduct.
See also: beyond, pale
References in periodicals archive ?
For the other towns of the province, Paler, the provincial head of Gawad Kalinga, said eleven (11) municipalities had been finished in assessment, and this week the towns of Panaon will be next.
The paler pink bodice had a few thin gold stripes and kimono sleeves.
It also goes well with other spring bulbs, such as paler yellow daffodils.
They have dark bodies but paler markings than the usual black-legged vine weevil.
Relatively large, the leaves are a dull light green with a paler underside during growing season.
Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Alterra has appointed seven new executives to its national office staff: Colleen Endsley, vice president of resident and family services; Shari Kaplan, vice president of healthcare services; Larry McGuire, vice president of employee services; Douglas Owens, vice president of information systems; Ronald Paler, vice president of healthcare services; Paul Pebley, vice president of corporate marketing services; and John Stensrud, vice president of research.
The Green Party program might be too bold for mass consumption, but paler versions are flourishing.
And of course there were the many mother]y roles of Susan Sarandon, each paler, more one-dimensional, and more maternally sacrificing nd virtuous than the last.
Red baiting Grand Inquisitors are still at work, and liberals of the pinkest complexion have obligingly grown paler and paler, either fading away like ghosts or (like Clinton and the other Democratic castrati) heartily joining the hallelujah chorus for "family values," the "free market," and the New World Order.
Cone-shaped surface cells focus more light onto pigments, enhancing their vividness; flat cells lead to duller, paler flowers.
Borne on 6- to 12-inch stems, flowers are a deep purplish pink with a paler center (they tend to grow paler as they age), and petals are marked by darker lines that break into dots toward the center of the flower.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- National risk management provider Avizent announced that Adrienne Paler has been appointed Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
Redijohn Paler and Richardo Solis had 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Tamaraws while substitute Jude Garcia added 11.
Jerome Paler, GK provincial head, cited statistics on the rising phenomenon of drug users and pushers coming out into the open in just 37 days of the Duterte administration, an unexpected turn of events that needed an equally quick response.
50, BOTH LIMITED EDITION AT MARKS & SPENCER; SANDALS, PS65, OFFICE A PALER FLORAL WITH A SIMPLE COLOUR PALETTE IS A GREAT INTRODUCTION INTO THIS TREND