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: by, 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

pale beside (someone or something)

To be or seem less important, impressive, or otherwise deficient when compared to someone or something else. All of my siblings are surgeons, so I always feel like my career in art pales beside theirs. Our work pales beside the things our predecessors created.
See also: beside, pale

pale next to (someone or something)

To be or seem less important, impressive, or otherwise deficient when compared to someone or something else. All of my siblings are surgeons, so I always feel like my career in art pales next to theirs. Our work pales next to the things our predecessors created.
See also: next, 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: by, 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 ?
Guests will then be invited to reflect/meditate/pray on the message the pole carries, "May Peace Prevail On Earth", while the Pales Peace Choir sings.
The pale angle changes automatically depending on air flux speed and loading torque.
low wave regime--the air flux increase the turbine spinning; pale angle changes depending on air speed and loading torque;
phi] diameter ratio--ratio between pale outer and inner diameter 0.
where [DELTA] is distance between pale and turbine carcass;
generator module protection against over spinning is realized through turbine breaking and pale angle changing by an centrifugal device.
Roy-Fequiere introduces the poetry of Pales Matos both through his own work and through critical readings of it by Arce and others.
Roy-Fequiere's reading of Pales Matos as well as of Tomas Blanco and Maria Cadilla de Martinez demonstrates that members of the Generacion were not all equally anxious about the preservation of the race and gender order.
Therefore, the contestations around race found among the Generacion del '30 pale in comparison to those found in the island as a whole, and should not be read as representing the investments of the majority of Puerto Ricans then or now.
Leger, forged the policy which, in the nineteenth century, came to be known as "surrender and regrant," even though the first people within the English Pale in Ireland with humanist credentials were those associated with Edmund Campion, whose activities are detailed in this book.
9) Smolensk lay outside the Pale of Settlement, to which Tsarist legislation had restricted Jews.
16) Twelve Smolensk Jews - more than in any city outside the Pale - had become First Guild Merchants.
Russian Jews carried the burden of legal inequities, from seclusion in the Pale to quotas governing education, that heightened their vulnerability to collective violence.
In the wake of the February 1917 revolution, Russia's Provisional Government abolished the special legal disabilities under which Jews had suffered, abolished the Pale of Settlement, and recognized Jews' equal rights as Russian citizens.
Jews with university degrees, doctors, dentists, and pharmacists could live and travel outside the Pale, as could retired soldiers; midwifes, male nurses, and pharmacy and dental assistants had conditional rights to reside outside the Pale; artisans in certain trades also could live outside the Pale if granted permission by a town Trades Board; merchants who paid over 1,000 rubles in taxes could enter Russian cities by registering as First Guild Merchants.