"a word or line that reads the same backward and forward," 1620s, from Greek palindromos "a recurrence," literally "a running back." Second element is dromos "a running" (see dromedary); first is palin "again, back," from PIE *kwle-i-, suffixed form of root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round." PIE *kw- becomes Greek p- before some vowels. Related: Palindromic; palindromist.
updated on December 16, 2019