1. The coat of a mammal, consisting of hair, fur, or wool, as distinct from bare skin.
2. Something that resembles the coat of a mammal: "The hardwoods were a soft pale green in the dark pelage of the conifers" (Peter Matthiessen).
[French, from Old French, from peil, pel, hair, from Latin pilus.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.