Definition of paleface in English:



  • A white person (used in fictional representations of the speech of North American Indians).

    • ‘A Caucasian driver never drives you and it's rare to find a paleface serving anyone, unless attired in a stiff blazer and clashing tie, their teeth mirroring your complete isolation in this place.’
    • ‘Instead, he emphasizes that Indians can use the notion of ancient authority to justify any course of action, just like the palefaces can.’
    • ‘Yet to the paleface who is fluent, this can be rather annoying.’
    • ‘But his dislike of its mixed-race, paleface composition became more pronounced - and his black nationalist ideology became blacker by degrees.’
    • ‘Our knowledge of the paleface was limited, but we had learned that he brought goods whenever he came, and that our people exchanged furs for his merchandise.’


Early 18th century (in the sense ‘person whose face is pale as a result of fear or shock’): the sense ‘white person’ dates from the early 19th century and was popularized by American writers such as James Fenimore Cooper (see Cooper, James Fenimore).