: capable of being touched or felt : tangible
: obvious, plain
There was a palpable excitement in the air as the actors prepared to go on stage on opening night.
Did You Know?
The word "palpable" has been used in English since the 14th century. It derives from the Latin word palpare, meaning "stroke" or "caress -- the same root that gives us the word "palpitation." The Latin verb is also a linguistic ancestor of the verb "feel." "Palpable" can be used to describe things that can be felt through the skin, such as a palpable sweat, but even more frequently is used in reference to things that cannot be touched but are still so easy to perceive that it is as though they could be touched -- such as a palpable tension in the air.
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