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A palindrome is a word or phrase which has the property of reading the same in either direction (the adjustment of spaces between letters is generally permitted).

Palindromes occur in many languages, but they are particularly prevalent in English due to the wide variety and frequent reversal of letter pairs within words.

Examples of palindromic words and phrases:

  • Glenelg (place name in Scotland and Australia)
  • noon
  • Madam, I'm Adam
  • Able was I, ere I saw Elba (the famous 'Napoleon's Lament, source unknown)
  • A Man, a plan, a canal - Panama! (history in palindromic form)
  • Yawn! Madonna fan? No damn way!
See also : wordplay

In genetics, a palindromic DNA sequence can form a hairpin.

See also: transcription