adjective pal·at·able \ ˈpa-lə-tə-bəl \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of palatable

1 : agreeable to the palate or taste
  • The restaurant's chicken dishes are quite palatable.
2 : agreeable or acceptable to the mind
  • attempted to make physics palatable to a broader range of students


play \ˌpa-lə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun




play \ˈpa-lə-tə-blē\ adverb

palatable was our Word of the Day on 03/10/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of palatable in a Sentence

  1. a less than palatable beer

  2. I did not find the idea of moving again very palatable.

Recent Examples of palatable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'palatable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

How Should You Use palatable?

Palatable comes from palate, a Latin-derived word for the roof of the mouth. The palate was once thought of as the seat of the sense of taste, so the word eventually came to mean "sense of taste," or broadly, "liking." Palatable has been used in English to refer to palate-pleasing foods since 1619, but it isn't our only—or our oldest—adjective for agreeable tastes. Savory dates from the 14th century. Toothsome has been around since 1551. Tasty was first used in the early 17th century. And appetizing has been gracing culinary reviews since 1653.

First Known Use of palatable


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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palatable Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of palatable

palatable, appetizing, savory, tasty, toothsome mean agreeable or pleasant especially to the sense of taste. palatable often applies to something that is found to be merely agreeable.
    • butterflies that birds find palatable
appetizing suggests a whetting of the appetite and applies to aroma and appearance as well as taste.
    • appetizing hors d'oeuvres
savory applies to both taste and aroma and suggests piquancy and often spiciness.
    • dumplings with savory fillings
tasty implies a pronounced taste.
    • a tart and tasty pie
toothsome stresses the notion of agreeableness and sometimes implies tenderness or daintiness.
    • an enticing array of toothsome desserts

PALATABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of palatable for English Language Learners

  • : having a pleasant or agreeable taste

  • : pleasant or acceptable to someone

PALATABLE Defined for Kids


adjective pal·at·able \ ˈpa-lə-tə-bəl \

Definition of palatable for Students

: pleasant to the taste

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resembling the blue of the sky

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