- To make pale through lack of light, especially of a plant.
- To make pale and sickly-looking.
1980, Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers:
- She was a very lovely woman in her late thirties, in a silk dress of screaming scarlet that would have etiolated a white woman to bled veal.
1995, Martin Amis, The information:
- Gwynn and Richard were at the Westway Health and Fitness Centre, surrounded by thirty or forty etiolated drunks: playing snooker.
- (intransitive) To become pale or blanched.
to make pale through lack of light
to make a person pale and sickly-looking