palpate

verb pal·pate \ ˈpal-ˌpāt \

Definition of palpate

palpated; palpating
transitive verb
: to examine by touch especially medically

palpation

play \pal-ˈpā-shən\ noun

palpate was our Word of the Day on 12/22/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of palpate in a Sentence

  1. The doctor palpated his ribs to see if there was any tenderness.

Recent Examples of palpate from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Palpate has been part of the English language since at least the mid-19th century. It was probably coined from the preexisting noun form palpation, which itself traces back to the Latin verb palpare, meaning "to stroke or caress." Other descendants of palpare in English include palpable, palpitate, and the verb palp. Even feel itself is a distant cousin of palpitate, as both words can be linked to the same ancient root word that gave Latin palpare.

Origin and Etymology of palpate

probably back-formation from palpation, from Latin palpation-, palpatio, from palpare


PALPATE Defined for English Language Learners

palpate

verb

Definition of palpate for English Language Learners

  • medical : to examine (part of the body) by touching it


Medical Dictionary

palpate

verb pal·pate \ ˈpal-ˌpāt \

medical Definition of palpate

palpated; palpating
transitive verb
: to examine by touch : explore by palpation
intransitive verb
: to use the technique of palpation

Learn More about palpate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up palpate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!