palpable

adjective
pal·​pa·​ble | \ ˈpal-pə-bəl How to pronounce palpable (audio) \

Definition of palpable

1 : capable of being touched or felt : tangible palpable lymph nodes
2 : easily perceptible : noticeable a palpable difference The attraction between them was palpable.
3 : easily perceptible by the mind : manifest

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Other Words from palpable

palpability \ ˌpal-​pə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce palpability (audio) \ noun
palpably \ ˈpal-​pə-​blē How to pronounce palpably (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Feel Out the Definition of Palpable

The word palpable has been used in English since the 14th century. It derives from the Latin word palpare, meaning "to stroke" or "to 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 person's pulse, but even more frequently it 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."

Examples of palpable in a Sentence

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 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 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 I felt a palpable sense of relief. The attraction between them was palpable. There was a palpable excitement in the air as the town prepared for the festival.
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Recent Examples on the Web Otherwise the mugginess is palpable under partly cloudy skies. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Hot and humid today and tomorrow with an isolated storm; tricky forecast for Friday," 8 July 2020 And that first production offered palpable evidence to the opera world of just how much Cincinnati Opera had matured. David Lyman, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Opera lost its 100th season, but its history and future remain intact," 10 July 2020 The frustration is palpable as physicians across Africa struggle with the virus in a region that is home to only about 3% of the world’s health-care workers and less than 1% of its financial resources. Tope Alake, Bloomberg.com, "Stretched and Stressed by Outbreak, African Doctors Push Back," 9 July 2020 The excitement and enthusiasm for a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 is both palpable and understandable. William A. Haseltine, Scientific American, "The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine," 22 June 2020 As pandemic and protests collide, there is a palpable sense of recklessness in Washington. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Pandemic, meet protest," 1 June 2020 The energy at each march was palpable—the exhilaration of young people finding a collective voice. Jack Shuler, The New Republic, "Can the White People of Small-Town America Get Behind the Movement for Black Lives?," 2 July 2020 Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard noticed a palpable change among his teammates last month when the NBA announced its plans to restart the season in Orlando, Florida. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "After months of uncertainty, Portland Trail Blazers looking forward to NBA restart in Orlando," 1 July 2020 His pain was palpable and quickly erupted into a rage. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, "Hospitals Experiment with COVID-19 Treatments, Balancing Hope and Evidence," 29 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of palpable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for palpable

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

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Time Traveler for palpable

Time Traveler

The first known use of palpable was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Palpable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/palpable. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for palpable

palpable

adjective
How to pronounce palpable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of palpable

formal : obvious and noticeable

palpable

adjective
pal·​pa·​ble | \ ˈpal-pə-bəl How to pronounce palpable (audio) \

Medical Definition of palpable

: 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

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Comments on palpable

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