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adjective pal·pa·ble \ˈpal-pə-bəl\

Simple Definition of palpable

  • : obvious and noticeable

Full Definition of palpable

  1. 1 :  capable of being touched or felt :  tangible

  2. 2 :  easily perceptible :  noticeable <a palpable difference>

  3. 3 :  easily perceptible by the mind :  manifest

pal·pa·bil·i·ty play \ˌpal-pə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
pal·pa·bly play \ˈpal-pə-blē\ adverb

Examples of palpable

  1. A positive patch-test result, measured by a visible and palpable localized response, denotes a delayed hypersensitivity response … —Simon Kallal et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 7 Feb. 2008

  2. When I'm back in nature after months of walking around on concrete and living in boxes, I feel a palpable internal shift. —Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006

  3. As pushcart vendors manned the stadium concourses, ringing bicycle bells and selling E-lados ice cream in paper cups, and concessionaires poured shots of Cutty Sark and blended piña coladas, there was a palpable sense of spirit. —Daniel G. Habib, Sports Illustrated, 21 Apr. 2003

  4. I felt a palpable sense of relief.

  5. The attraction between them was palpable.

  6. There was a palpable excitement in the air as the town prepared for the festival.

Origin of palpable

Middle English, from Late Latin palpabilis, from Latin palpare to stroke, caress — more at feel

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of palpable

perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, appreciable, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent. perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent <a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener>. sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind <an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature>. palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable <the tension in the air was almost palpable>. tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally <no tangible evidence of UFOs>. appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable <an appreciable increase in income>. ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance <exerted a ponderable influence on world events>.

Medical Dictionary


adjective pal·pa·ble \ˈpal-pə-bəl\

Medical Definition of palpable

  1. :  capable of being touched or felt; especially :  capable of being examined by palpation <the tip of the spleen was questionably palpableJournal of the American Medical Association>

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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