What is a Palindrome?

L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn

A palindrome is a word or sentence that is the same spelled forward or backward. For example, take a look at the following sentence: "Madam, I'm Adam". If you omit the punctuation, you can see that the letters spell the same thing forward and backward. There are lots of words that are palindromes including: dad, deified, kayak, mom, repaper, reviver, rotator, and radar.

A palindrome reads the same in both directions, such as "Too hot to hoot."
A palindrome reads the same in both directions, such as "Too hot to hoot."

Palindromic sentences are difficult to uncover but here are some great examples:

Single words can be palindromes, such as "kayak."
Single words can be palindromes, such as "kayak."
  • A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!
  • A man, a pain, a mania: Panama!
  • Are poets a waste? Opera!
  • Never odd or even.
  • I prefer pi.
  • Oh, cameras are macho.
  • Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard.
  • Go deliver a dare, vile dog.
  • Wet sanitary rat in a stew.
  • Lepers repel.
  • Too hot to hoot.
  • I'm a fool; aloof am I.
  • Don't nod.
  • No, it is opposition.
  • I'm alas, a salami.
  • Madam, I'm Adam.
  • So many dynamos!
  • Evil, a sin, is alive.
  • Do geese see God?
  • Boston, O do not sob.
  • Niagara, O roar again!
"A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!" is a good example of a palindrome.
"A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!" is a good example of a palindrome.
Radar is an example of a palindromic word.
Radar is an example of a palindromic word.

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Discussion Comments

anon58554

01 02 2010 is a palindrome!

leilani

Is 01 02 2010 also a palindrome? It is the same forwards and backward, or palindrome is reserved for words only?

anon30800

Napoleon's famous palindrome: Able was I ere I saw Elba.

habura

I had a teacher who said she loved to collect palindromes because her first name was a palindrome: Aviva. Here are some more palindromes: racecar, eye, deed, "I did, did I?, and my favorite "Dennis sinned" -- my brother is named Dennis. ;)

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