The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Pale \Pale\, n. [F. pal, fr. L. palus: cf. D. paal. See Pole a
stake, and 1st Pallet.]
1. A pointed stake or slat, either driven into the ground, or
fastened to a rail at the top and bottom, for fencing or
inclosing; a picket.
Deer creep through when a pale tumbles down.
2. That which incloses or fences in; a boundary; a limit; a
fence; a palisade. "Within one pale or hedge." --Robynson
3. A space or field having bounds or limits; a limited region
or place; an inclosure; -- often used figuratively. "To
walk the studious cloister's pale." --Milton. "Out of the
pale of civilization." --Macaulay.
4. Hence: A region within specified bounds, whether or not
enclosed or demarcated.
5. A stripe or band, as on a garment. --Chaucer.
6. (Her.) One of the greater ordinaries, being a broad
perpendicular stripe in an escutcheon, equally distant
from the two edges, and occupying one third of it.
7. A cheese scoop. --Simmonds.
8. (Shipbuilding) A shore for bracing a timber before it is
English pale, Irish pale (Hist.), the limits or territory
in Eastern Ireland within which alone the English
conquerors of Ireland held dominion for a long period
after their invasion of the country by Henry II in 1172.
See note, below.
beyond the pale outside the limits of what is allowed or
proper; also, outside the limits within which one is
[1913 Webster +PJC]
Note: The English Pale. That part of Ireland in which English
law was acknowledged, and within which the dominion of
the English was restricted, for some centuries after
the conquests of Henry II. John distributed the part of
Ireland then subject to England into 12 counties
palatine, and this region became subsequently known as
the Pale, but the limits varied at different times.
[Century Dict., 1906]