Palate vs Palette vs Pallet: Explained

Homophones are some of the most confusing words in the English language, and palate vs palette vs pallet are definitely among the toughest. Here is a closer look at their meanings and uses.

Words that sound the same but have different spellings and different meanings are challenging for English speakers and writers. Palate, palette, and pallet are three homophones that can be very tricky for writers because their spellings have very different meanings.

To keep these words straight, you should consider taking a closer look at their meanings and where they came from. This guide will help you choose the right word in your writing.

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Palate vs Palette vs Pallet – Three Confusing Words to Decipher

Palate vs palette vs pallet

The words palate, palette and pallet are all pronounced the same, but they all refer to different things. In addition, all three words are used as nouns. These similarities make them easily confused, but they do in fact have different meanings.

As you go about your writing, when you are ready to talk about a painter’s tool, knowing which word to use is vital to creating writing that makes sense. This starts with knowing the different definitions of these commonly confused words.

The Definition of Palate

The definition of palate
The word palate refers to the roof of the mouth in many instances

First, the word palate refers to the roof of the mouth in many instances. People have both a hard palate and a soft palate that separate the mouth from the nasal cavity. Here is an example:

  • The boy with the cleft palate had to have surgery to allow him to swallow normally.

Because the mouth is associated with taste, the word palate has also been used to describe the sense of taste. Here is an example:

  • His American palate found the Mexican food a bit too spicy.

Finally, this word has come to mean someone’s intellectual taste or preferences, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Here is an example:

  • The movie had too much violence for my palate.

The Definition of Palette

The definition of palette
A color palette is a term used often in interior decorating

The word palette is a noun that refers to a range of colors or a color scheme. A color palette is a term used often in interior decorating, such as:

  • The designer chose a neutral color palette to center the home’s remodel.

Because it often refers to color which is integral to art, this word can also mean the board or tablet that an artist uses to hold and mix paints while creating art. Here is an example:

  • The artist’s palette contained different hues of blue and green as he painted the seaside 

The Definition of Pallet

The definition of pallet
The worker used the forklift to carry the pallet off of the truck

Finally, the word pallet refers to a flat board or wooden platform used to stack merchandise while in transit. Here is an example sentence:

  • The worker used the forklift to carry the pallet off of the truck and into the warehouse.

This spelling can also mean a small, makeshift bed, often that is hard and uncomfortable. Here is an example:

  • Because the overnight guest was unexpected, all we could do was set up a pallet for him to sleep on in the living room.

A Final Word On Palate Vs Palette Vs Pallet

With three distinct meanings, palate, palette, and pallet cannot be used interchangeably. You would always stack your warehouse using wooden pallets and create art using a palette of paint, but if you are going out to dinner, you will be feeding your palate.

These are three homophones that strong writers simply must learn to use properly. By memorizing their definitions, you can learn to use them properly as you become a more skilled writer. If you like this post, you might be interested in our lets vs. let’s explainer.

FAQs About Palate Vs Palette Vs Pallet

What is a palate?

A palate refers to the roof of the mouth or the sense of taste. This word can also mean an intellectual feeling or preference.

What is a palette?

This word is most commonly applied to art. A palette is a tool used by artists to hold and mix paint. It can also refer to a selection of colors, such as an eyeshadow palette or a palette for interior decorating or fashion trends.

What is a pallet?

This word shows up in the shipping industry most frequently. A pallet refers to a wooden platform used for carrying supplies, or a small, temporary, uncomfortable bed.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.