Definition of palm noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pɑːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pɑːm//
    Hands and nails, Plants
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  1. 1 the inner surface of the hand between the wrist and the fingers He held the bird gently in the palm of his hand. sweaty palms to read somebody’s palm (= to say what you think will happen to somebody by looking at the lines on their palm) See related entries: Hands and nails
  2. 2 (also palm tree) a straight tree with a mass of long leaves at the top, growing in tropical countries. There are several types of palm tree, some of which produce fruit. a date palm a coconut palm palm leaves/fronds/groves See related entries: Plants
  3. Word Originnoun sense 2 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. noun sense 1 Middle English: from Old French paume, from Latin palma. Current senses of the verb date from the late 17th cent.Extra examples He held up a palm for silence. He ran his palm up and down Holly’s shoulder. He rubbed his palms against his jeans. He showed me the coins in his palm. He spread his palms in a gesture of openness. He took her hand between his palms and squeezed it. He went over to the wall and placed his palm on it. His right palm was resting against my neck. Hold out your arms with the palms facing downwards. I pressed my palm to the wound to stop the bleeding. She held out her hand to me, palm up. She read people’s palms and told fortunes. She slapped her palm against the desk in anger. The metal felt hot against my palms.Idioms
    cross somebody’s palm with silver
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    to give somebody money so that they will do you a favour, especially tell your fortune
    grease somebody’s palm
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    (old-fashioned, informal) to give somebody money in order to persuade them to do something dishonest synonym bribe
    have somebody in the palm of your hand
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    to have complete control or influence over somebody Even before he plays a note, he has the audience in the palm of his hand.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: palm