Main definitions of palm in English

: palm1palm2

palm1

noun

  • 1An unbranched evergreen tree of tropical and warm regions, with a crown of very long feathered or fan-shaped leaves, and typically having old leaf scars forming a regular pattern on the trunk.

    • ‘A thin white line emanates from her mouth, and that line also functions as a distant horizon on which a palm tree grows.’
    • ‘People sought out these palms because they are symbolic of being somewhere different and fulfil visitors expectations of a tropical location.’
    • ‘The California Fan Palm is the only palm tree native to western North America and its natural range is farther south.’
    • ‘The well-maintained lawn to the front contains a feature palm tree.’
    • ‘He uses light and shadows, natural vegetation and bright colors of the tropics to paint Caribbean Victorians and palms.’
    • ‘Slightly shell-shocked, we are led to our hotel nursing sweet memories of swaying palms and grass skirts.’
    • ‘The Port Elizabeth waterfront is lined with neat wooden villas and small hotels nestling among the palms.’
    • ‘Jasmine sat in the shade of a palm tree by the quiet pristine waters of the oasis.’
    • ‘A lush boulevard of vibrant flowers and palms served as the centerpiece, and a view of the coast just over the top of its immaculately pruned leaves.’
    • ‘This oil is harvested from the kernels of the palm tree, thus the name.’
    • ‘The local silver thatch palm, traditionally used for roofing, was supplanted by corrugated tin.’
    • ‘I sank back against the palm tree, ready to admit defeat.’
    • ‘Little Black Cormorants rested in the palms, sporting silvery spots on their backs.’
    • ‘Ahead is a blaze of green palms, a glint of blue river.’
    • ‘What sticks in my mind is the palm tree and the white shoe.’
    • ‘So I obediently drew two leaves, belonging to a palm tree just beyond the verandah.’
    • ‘The banana plant is a strange growth, which looks like a palm tree, but is not a tree.’
    • ‘The palm fronds stand for victory while the Oriental dragon personifies vigilance and preparedness.’
    • ‘She was busy sketching out a palm tree at my art desk as we talked.’
    • ‘They even feel attached to the tree or the palm tree that might stand outside their home.’
    1. 1.1 A leaf of a palm tree awarded as a prize or viewed as a symbol of victory:
      ‘the consensus was that the palm should go to Doerner’
      • ‘Albeit there are those latter-day scientists who would tend instead to award the ancestral palm to the lung-fish.’
      • ‘Step forward for a palm of victory.’
      • ‘But there is much more to be said on that score; and there is also the fact that there are those who award the palm elsewhere.’
      • ‘Note that Jacopo adds something not prescribed - an angel swooping down with a palm, symbol of martyrdom.’
      prize, trophy, award, crown, wreath, laurel wreath, laurels, bays
      honour, glory, fame, victory, triumph, success, accolade
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English palm(a), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch palm and German Palme, from Latin palma palm (of a hand), its leaf being likened to a spread hand.

Pronunciation:

palm

/pɑːm/

Main definitions of palm in English

: palm1palm2

palm2

noun

  • 1The inner surface of the hand between the wrist and fingers:

    ‘she held the bird in the palm of her hand’
    [as modifier] ‘a palm print’
    • ‘He placed both his palms on the rough wooden table and grinned.’
    • ‘She tapped the small wooden box against her palm and stared at the orange dust.’
    • ‘I dig my fingernails into the palm of my hand, it wraps into a fist.’
    • ‘Danny's smile softened and he set one of his palms down on the edge of Victoria's desk, leaning down over her.’
    • ‘She pulled down her glove and stared at the red symbol on her palm, a basic crescent insignia.’
    • ‘For them it makes little sense to think, act, or to take risks if extending your palms is rewarded with a morsel that you can get again tomorrow.’
    • ‘She slapped the table two times with her right palm, looking triumphant.’
    • ‘I feel her fingers thrust themselves into my open palm and she makes symbols with them.’
    • ‘He reached for her hand, opened it, and placed a silver chain in her palm.’
    • ‘Support your baby's head with the palm of your hand when you hold him’
    • ‘His forehead hit the palm of his hand as he bowed his head.’
    • ‘He let the crystal fall from his finger tips into the palm of his hand.’
    • ‘His hand shot out to steady himself and his palm landed on the rock with the symbol.’
    • ‘In this test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers down over your thumb.’
    • ‘The lopsided star was a little bigger than my palm and silver-ish in color.’
    • ‘A soft pressure pushed against his palm symbolizing that the boy was still alive.’
    • ‘Bruce places his palm on a sophisticated console set into the wall.’
    • ‘I love the small of her back and the inside of her wrist and the palm of her hand.’
    • ‘Adriana smiled her thanks and put a third piece of silver in his palm.’
    • ‘The spike from the fence went through his wrist and into the palm of his hand.’
    1. 1.1 A part of a glove that covers the palm:
      ‘batting gloves with leather reinforced palms’
      • ‘Went and bought a new pair of winter cycling gloves today, these have better padding on the palm which should dissipate the pressure on the median nerve.’
      • ‘For something a little different in the kitchen, sew a pocket onto the palm of each of your oven gloves and fill them with rosemary.’
      • ‘A blue glow gathered in the palm of the right glove, and blood on pants, cloak, and tunic incinerated and fell as ash to the ground.’
      • ‘It's a mistake, the coach reasoned, to take your eye off the ball even when you think it's on a perfect course for the palm of your glove.’
      • ‘You basically take the palm of your glove and give them a face wash.’
      • ‘On her hands she wore pink, fingerless gloves with the palms colored white, and each of her fingertips had a black fake nail on them.’
      • ‘W S. Tooker devised an ingenious method of uniting animal fur backs and leather palms for a seamless back gauntlet.’
      • ‘The palm of the glove contained a healing incantation burned in gold.’
      • ‘Many of us opt instead for weightlifting gloves, the fingerless mesh kind with leather palms.’
      • ‘In the palms of his black gloves, the crystal flute sparkled with the sun's ray.’
      • ‘Clarino synthetic leather lines the palm and does not become slick when wet for reliable grip.’
    2. 1.2 A hard shield worn on the hand by sailmakers to protect the palm:
      ‘he was a deft hand with the palm and needle’
      • ‘The inspiration for the poem came initially from seeing a sailmaker's palm in the maritime museum in Greenock when I was over there visiting a writer's workshop.’
      • ‘The main difference is that the roping palm is heavier and has deeper recessed dimples and a tougher leather backing.’
  • 2The palmate part of a deer's antler.

    • ‘The lateral presentation of the antler palm between male fallow deer has been described as either a signal of individual quality or an attempt to avoid fighting.’
    • ‘These findings strongly indicate that the palm of moose antlers may serve as an effective, parabolic reflector which increases the acoustic pressure of the incoming sound’

verb

  • 1[with object] Conceal (a small object) in the hand, especially as part of a trick or theft:

    ‘he would spin wild tales while palming your wristwatch’
    • ‘The box chirped as it opened to reveal a small program disc which Xavier calmly palmed into his pocket.’
    • ‘All the senior girls in the group were violating dress code with their miniskirts and above-the-midriff tops, and the guys were palming packs of cigarettes, hoping to appear illegally tantalizing.’
    • ‘John flicked the keycard he had palmed through the lock and the door slid open to reveal the septic green walls of the silo corridor.’
    • ‘He wasn't going to eat/take the wafer, as it was a bit silly and unnecessary for him to do so, so he discreetly palmed it.’
    • ‘He heard the bedroom door creak open and quickly palmed the note he had found.’
    • ‘I palmed the offending items into a napkin and slipped the obscene bundle into my trouser pocket for disposal later.’
  • 2[with object and adverbial of direction] (of a goalkeeper) deflect (the ball) with the palm of the hand:

    ‘Jason palmed the ball out of danger’
    • ‘Last season Marsh pulled off a string of penalty saves and he did not disappoint this time, brilliantly palming away Nick Fisher's spot kick.’
    • ‘Robert Douglas dived low to his left and palmed it wide.’
    • ‘Roberts should have done better than shoot tamely wide when more clever work by Moran led to Bracey palming his acute-angled shot into the big striker's path.’
    • ‘The first, from 30 yards, was well-struck, but the keeper palmed it away and the follow-up from Anthony Ruddy was again smothered by the Erris custodian.’
    • ‘Barry Robson almost gave the home side a late winner with a curling free kick but McKenzie palmed it past.’
    • ‘East Stirlingshire keeper Scott Finlay was called into action to deny Allan midway through the second half, palming the midfielder's shot behind for a corner.’
    • ‘Then it was Robinson's turn to star, flinging himself to the right and palming Paul Gallagher's shot past the post.’
    • ‘Veteran keeper, Henry Smith, had denied Miller near the end of the first half by palming a header on to the bar so it was not Miller's, or Morton's, day.’
    • ‘It was a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock but his header from well within the six-yard box was palmed over the bar by Mark Brown in the Inverness goal.’
    • ‘Friedel saves the day when he palms a shot from Parker over the bar.’

Phrases

  • have (or hold) someone in the palm of one's hand

    • Have someone under one's control or influence:

      ‘she had the audience in the palm of her hand’
      • ‘Now if you could only use that charm on the Council, you would have them in the palm of your hand.’
      • ‘President McAleese addressed the large crowd and within moments she held them in the palm of her hand as, referring to just a few jotted notes, she made a truly inspiring speech which will stay with all present for a long time to come.’
      • ‘Watching them through the camera was like holding them in the palm of my hand - I could study every detail.’
      • ‘Oh Anna, you know you have me in the palm of your hand.’
      • ‘All he had to do was suck Trista in and he would have her in the palm of her hand!’
      • ‘This Wendler was a guy who didn't need pity from girls because he really had them in the palm of his hand.’
      • ‘When it came to his speech, he had us in the palm of his hand from early on with a few jokes about his time in the hot seat and his dealings with the president and others.’
      • ‘But by the end Ross had them in the palm of her hand.’
      • ‘Though the film is long, it never bogs down and he has you in the palm of his hand when the final events begin to shake you up.’
      • ‘She had him in the palm of her hand, and she didn't even know.’
      have control over, have power over, have influence over, have someone at one's mercy, have someone in one's clutches, have someone eating out of one's hand, have someone on a string
      have someone in one's hip pocket
      View synonyms
  • an itching palm

    • An avaricious nature.

      greed, acquisitiveness, cupidity, covetousness, avariciousness, rapacity, rapaciousness, graspingness, materialism, mercenariness
      View synonyms
  • read someone's palm

    • Tell someone's fortune by looking at the lines on their palm.

      • ‘He read my palm and told me a lot of interesting things, including that I am under protection from the Divine - when I am getting into dangerous situations, it will get me out of them.’
      • ‘She said he then told her, ‘According to my understanding reading your palm, you are a woman who would constantly cheat on your man.’’
      • ‘‘My dear, you have no lifeline, no loveline… it is only the face of a beautiful girl,’ the gypsy on the dock who read his palm commented, pulling his hand close to her thickly bespectacled eyes.’
      • ‘People used to ask her to read their palm or cards and she did.’
      • ‘A man in India read my palm and said I'm going to die at 110.’
      • ‘She took hold of my hand and caressed it before reading my palm.’
      • ‘Someone who once read my palm told me I have difficulty judging between reality and dream - perhaps all was fine before I knew?’
      • ‘I take about an hour to read your palm in detail, and I can send you a pen portrait if you wish by email or post.’
      • ‘It is easy to find someone who will tell you your future by reading your palm or tarot cards.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • palm someone off

    • Persuade someone to accept something by deception:

      ‘most sellers are palmed off with a fraction of what something is worth’
      • ‘The quicker they palm you off, the more they make.’
      • ‘Perhaps that's why he was subsequently palmed off with the less demanding task of running the national economy.’
      • ‘I told the steward about it and felt that nothing was done and that I was palmed off.’
      • ‘‘We need real assurances to these important matters and we do not want to be palmed off in a pious manner by the British Government with weak excuses,’ he added.’
      • ‘Motto: be clear what you want from a situation that has gone wrong and don't be palmed off.’
      • ‘When I reported this to the supermarket, they palmed me off to some company they claimed monitored the car park for them.’
      • ‘She turned vegetarian at the age of four and her parents tried to palm her off with fish fingers.’
      • ‘I will NOT be palmed off with these priestly evasions!’
      • ‘Again, you have to be insistent, and not be palmed off by the person who answers the phone.’
      • ‘The theme this time is inspired by the reality TV show where a poor construction worker is palmed off as a millionaire in order to humiliate women and allow Joe to transcend class.’
  • palm something off

    • Sell or dispose of something by misrepresentation or fraud:

      ‘unscrupulous businessmen may palm off their property to the buyers without proper papers’
      • ‘The Italian authorities then tried to palm the matter off on a new European Union member, Malta.’
      • ‘The real affront is why insincere kids books are being palmed off on adults.’
      • ‘I realised I could probably try to palm it off to some people around my old working area.’
      • ‘Everyone is therefore keen on palming it off as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘Years of accumulated detritus and geegaws have been successfully palmed off onto relatives and neighbours.’
      • ‘This kind of body modification is so severe that it is hard to just palm it off as an attention getting gimmick.’
      • ‘This resolute need to see nothing but disaster and clouds is common enough within the expected circles even despite items that cannot be easily palmed off.’
      • ‘In the weeks that followed, the baby was palmed off to family, friends and neighbours.’
      • ‘Much of his visual composition pays homage to the genre, without watering it down, or palming it off as pastiche.’
      • ‘And as long as you palm it off to someone you can trust it's OK.’
      foist, fob off, offload, get rid of, dispose of
      unload
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French paume, from Latin palma. Current senses of the verb date from the late 17th century.

Pronunciation:

palm

/pɑːm/