A small tablet, usually of ivory or wood, upon which painters lay small portions of the several pigments or tints they have occasion for in their work. Instead of a handle, it has a hole cut near the side, for the thumb of the left hand to pass through in holding it.

The term palette is also given by potters to the wooden instrument which they use to beat and shape out their work. Palette is a term also given to little levers employed in clock and watch work (see Horology); it is likewise applied to a variety of contrivances in mechanism, somewhat resembling in their action the little organ called by that name in the human mouth.