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ap·pall / əˈpôl/ • v. (-palled , -pall·ing ) [tr.] (usu. be appalled) greatly dismay or horrify: bankers are appalled at the economic incompetence of some officials. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French apalir ‘grow pale,’ from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + palir ‘to pale.’ The original sense was ‘grow pale,’ later ‘make pale,’ hence ‘dismay, horrify’ (late Middle English).