im·​per·​cep·​ti·​ble ˌim-pər-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce imperceptible (audio)
: not perceptible by a sense or by the mind : extremely slight, gradual, or subtle
imperceptible differences
imperceptibly adverb

Examples of imperceptible in a Sentence

These changes will be imperceptible to most people. a slight difference in hue between the two glasses that's imperceptible unless they're placed side by side
Recent Examples on the Web Popular culture suggests that all-important turning points come after the impassioned speech or the meet cute, but in reality, true change is imperceptible and incremental, and progress is hard to pinpoint. Longreads, 26 Jan. 2024 Such studies challenged the idea that evolution proceeded through slow, imperceptible changes over vast time spans, said Matt Pennell, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Southern California. Quanta Magazine, 2 Jan. 2024 Hallucinations perceive patterns that are imperceptible to humans and create inaccurate outputs. Byjohn Kell, Fortune, 8 Nov. 2023 Although this seems subtle and is imperceptible to humans, the variation is more than many building components and foundation systems can handle without compromising their operational requirements, according to the study. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 11 July 2023 According to The Verge, these eerily imperceptible filters likely utilize a form of artificial intelligence called GAN (General Adversarial Network), a neural network. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 27 Oct. 2023 But some of us prefer cinema to be a refuge, letting the season’s films wash over us and leave imperceptible, indelible imprints in their wake. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 14 July 2023 Her longtime hair and makeup artists—who are also her confidantes—hover around her like discreet, black-garbed hummingbirds, making imperceptible tweaks to her long dark hair and flawless skin. Rory Satran, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2023 Another change imperceptible to the naked eye: the body is now made of 100 percent recycled aluminum instead of stainless steel. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'imperceptible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin imperceptibilis, from Latin in- + Late Latin perceptibilis perceptible

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of imperceptible was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near imperceptible

Cite this Entry

“Imperceptible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


im·​per·​cep·​ti·​ble ˌim-pər-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce imperceptible (audio)
: not noticeable : not perceptible by a sense or by the mind
one whose beauty was imperceptible to others
: hardly noticeable : very small or gradual
an imperceptible smile
imperceptibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on imperceptible

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