Word of the Week: Pallor

illustration of scientist looking into microscope - word of the week

Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.

Word of the Week: Pallor

How to say it: Pallor (pal-LORE)

What it means: Paleness; a sickly look in the face.

Where it comes from: In Latin pallor, meaning "loss of color."

A young white woman who is pale and wan appearing.


Where you might see or hear it: When you are sick, someone might tell you that you look pale or do not have your normal rosy color on your face. When you look at the symptoms of some conditions, you might see the word "pallor" which describes the sickly paleness that you may have. If you see a doctor for a condition like anemia, they might note "pallor" in your medical record.

When you might want to use it: Some people have naturally fairer skin than others and might be described as "pale" in general. However, if you are referring to the paleness that comes with being sick, describing it as pallor is more specific.

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