early 13c., palais, "official residence of an emperor, king, queen, archbishop, etc.," from Old French palais "palace, court" and directly from Medieval Latin palacium "a palace" (source of Spanish palacio, Italian palazzo), from Latin palatium "the Palatine hill," in plural, "a palace," from Mons Palatinus "the Palatine Hill," one of the seven hills of ancient Rome, where Augustus Caesar's house stood (the original "palace"), later the site of the splendid residence built by Nero. In English, the general sense of "magnificent, stately, or splendid dwelling place" is by c. 1300.
The hill name perhaps is ultimately from palus "stake" (see pale (n.)) on the notion of "enclosure." Another guess is that it is from Etruscan and connected with Pales, the supposed name of an Italic goddess of shepherds and cattle. De Vaan connects it with palatum "roof of the mouth; dome, vault," and writes, "Since the 'palate' can be referred to as a 'flattened' or 'vaulted' part, and since hills are also often referred to as 'flat' or 'vaulted' (if their form so suggests), a derivation of Palatium from palatum is quite conceivable."
French palais is the source of German Palast, Swedish palats and some other Germanic forms. Others, such as Old English palant, Middle High German phalanze (modern German Pfalz) are from the Medieval Latin word.
"large and imposing building," 1660s, from Italian palazzo (see palace).
1754, "of the nature of a palace, magnificent," from French palatial "magnificent," from Latin palatium (see palace). Related: Palatially. Middle English had palasin in the literal sense of "belonging to a palace or court" (c. 1400, from Old French), which was revived in that sense in 19c. as palatian (1845). An earlier word for "magnificent, of the nature of a palace" was palacious (1620s), now obsolete.
"possessing quasi-royal privileges," literally "pertaining to a palace," mid-15c., of counties, "ruled by a lord who has privileges resembling those of an independent sovereign," from Old French palatin (15c.) and directly from Medieval Latin palatinus "of the palace" (of the Caesars), from Latin palatium (see palace). Medieval Latin (comes) palatinus was a title given to one holding any office in the palace of a prince, hence "possessing royal privileges." A doublet of paladin.
In reference to the Rhineland state, formerly an electorate in the old German empire, by 1570s; by 1709 as a noun meaning "resident of or immigrant from the (German) Palatine."
1590s, in reference to the medieval romance cycle, "one of the twelve knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne and accompanying him to war," from French paladin "a warrior" (16c.), from Italian paladino, from Latin palatinus "palace official;" noun use of palatinus "of the palace" (see palace).
The Old French form of the word was palaisin (which gave Middle English palasin, c. 1400); the Italian form prevailed because, though the matter was French, most of the poets who wrote the romances were Italians. Extended sense of "a heroic champion" is by 1788.
royal palace in Rome, later the Italian presidential palace, 1838, from Mons Quirinalis in Rome (one of the seven hills, site of a former Papal palace), from Quirinus, said to be the divine name of Romulus, but rather one of the original trinity of Roman gods, assimilated to Mars. His feast (Quirinalia) was Feb. 17, the day Romulus was said to have been translated to heaven. Used metonymically for "the Italian civil government" (1917), especially as distinguished from the Vatican.
1580s, in reference to Muslim lands, "the part of the dwelling where the women are secluded," also the name of a former palace of the sultan in Istanbul, which contained his harem; from Italian seraglio, alteration of Turkish saray "palace, court," from Persian sara'i "palace, inn." This is from the Iranian base *thraya- "to protect" (source also of Avestan thrayeinti "they protect"), from PIE *tra-, a variant form of the root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome."
The Italian word probably reflects folk etymology influence of serraglio "enclosure, cage," from Medieval Latin serraculum "bung, stopper" (see serried). Sometimes in English in early use serail, via French sérail, which is from the Italian word. The meaning "inmates of a harem" is attested by 1630s.
"small long-haired dog of the pug type," 1902, so called because originally brought from the Imperial Palace at Peking, China. Also Pekinese.
place outside Paris, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Latin versus "slope." Louis XIII built a hunting lodge there; made into a palace 17c. by Louis XIV.