Guide to Literary Terms

Start Your Free Trial

Download Guide to Literary Terms Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Palindrome

Palindrome - a word, sentence, or verse reading the same backward as forward—excluding punctuation.

The term is from the Greek palindromos, meaning “running back again” which was formed by combining palin, meaning “again,” and drom, meaning “run.” The most common examples are the word “civic” and the phrase “Madam, I’m Adam.” The best known collection of palindromes was produced by Ambrose Pamperis in 1802; it contains 416 palindrome verses telling about the campaigns of Catherine the Great.