Color Pallet, Palette, Palate - Which is Correct?

Time For A Color Quiz

Choose the correct word for the following sentence -- When I get back from vacation, I'm going to use my photos to inspire a new color pallet / palette / palate for decorating my home office.

If you chose palette, congratulations, that is the correct answer.

If you chose one of the other words, you aren't alone in being confused. I often see the words palate or pallet incorrectly used to reference color, and it is an easy mistake to make.

All three words sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. Bonus points if you know what term is used to describe words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings, origins, or spelling. The answer is at the end of this post.

#Color #Quiz: When talking about colors, which is correct - Palate, Palette, Or Pallet ? Check your answer now.

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Color Palette Not Palate Or Pallet

A palette is a range of colors. It is also the board that artists use to hold and mix paint. According to, palette has extended beyond actual colors to include figurative colors. For example, a musician can use a palette of tones and modes.

When you touch your tongue to the top of your mouth, you're feeling your palate. The word palate also means taste in a broader sense as in, "Just picked strawberries are pleasing to my palate."

This word has several meanings, but none directly related to color. Pallet mainly refers to a slab or framework of wood used for carrying things or moving cargo.

If you knew that the term to describe words like pallet, palette, palate is homophone, give yourself a smile about how smart you are.

And if you aren't familiar with this word here's the definition again. A homophone is used to describe words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings, origins, or spelling.

Now be sure to use the right word - palette - when writing about color. You can thank me later for saving you from the keen eyes and judgmental thoughts of the spelling and grammar police.

To make sure you aren't making any other mistakes with color idioms, words or phrases, check here.

Color Words, Idioms and Phrases

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Have you seen this mistake? Have you made it yourself? Leave a comment below to let us know.

Feature Image Credit: Andrian Valeanu on Unsplash

Read Time: 2 min
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Kate Smith
Kate Smith is an optimistic, expressive, artist, designer, writer and color fanatic. With her warm and witty style, Kate teaches you to clearly see, understand and be inspired by color. Then she guides you step-by-step to develop your own unique color sense-ability and achieve results you never dreamed possible.
  • Kate – your post on the terminology is inspired!

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thank you, Linda. It was fun to write and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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