Palm. n.s. [palma, Latin; palmier, Fr.]
- A tree of great variety of species; of which the branches were worn in token of victory.
The palm-tree hath a single imbranched stalk; the leaves are disposed in a circular form on the top, which, when they wither or fall off, are succeeded by new ones out of the middle of those which remain; among which sheaths or plain twigs break forth, opening from the bottom to the top, very full of flowers and clusters of embryos. There are twenty-one species of this tree, of which the most remarkable are, the greater palm or date-tree. The dwarf palm grows in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, from whence the leaves are sent hither and made into flag-brooms. The oily palm is a native of Guinea and Cape Verd island, but has been transplanted to Jamaica and Barbadoes. It grows as high as the main mast of a ship. Miller.
Get the start of the majestick world,
And bear the palm alone. Shakesp. Jul. Cæsar.
Go forth into the mount and fetch palm-branches. Neh. viii. 15.
Nothing better proveth the excellency of this soil, than the abundant growing of the palm-trees without labour of man. This tree alone giveth unto man whatsoever his life beggeth at nature's hand. Raleigh.
Above others who carry away the palm for excellence, is Maurice Landgrave of Hess. Peacham of Musick.
Fruits of palm-tree, pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both. Milton's Par. Lost.
Thou youngest virgin, daughter of the skies,
Whose palms new pluck'd from Paradise,
With spreading branches more sublimely rise. Dryden.
- Victory; triumph. [palme, Fr.]
Namur subdu'd is England's palm alone;
The rest besieg'd; but we constrain'd the town. Dryden.
- The hand spread out; the inner part of the hand. [palma, Lat.]
By this virgin palm now kissing thine,
I will be thine. Shakespeare.
Drinks of extreme thin parts fretting, put upon the back of your hand, will, with a little stay, pass through to the palm, and yet taste mild to the mouth. Bacon.
Seeking my success in love to know,
I try'd th' infallible prophetick way,
A poppy-leaf upon my palm to lay. Dryden.
- A hand, or measure of length, comprising three inches. [palme, Fr.]
The length of a foot is a sixth part of the stature; a span one eighth of it; a palm or hand's breadth one twenty-fourth; a thumb's breadth or inch one seventy-second; a forefinger's breadth one ninety-sixth. Holder on Time.
Henry VIII. of England, Francis I. of France, and Charles V. emperor, were so provident, as scarce a palm of ground could be gotten by either, but that the other two would set the balance of Europe upright again. Bacon.
The same hand into a fist may close,
Which instantly a palm extended shows. Denham.