Definition of palpable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpalpəb(ə)l/


1(Of a feeling or atmosphere) so intense as to seem almost tangible: a palpable sense of loss
More example sentences
  • And I sense a palpable fear among those living in the park.
  • When flow returns, the sense of relief is palpable.
  • In the legion of plot twists that assault the viewer in the final part of the film, one can almost sense the palpable desire to leave the audience stunned and amazed.
perceptible, perceivable, visible, noticeable, appreciable, discernible, detectable, observable, tangible, recognizable, notable, unmistakable, transparent, indisputable, self-evident, incontrovertible, incontestable, undeniable;
obvious, clear, plain, plain to see, evident, apparent, manifest, patent, marked, conspicuous, pronounced, striking, distinct;
as plain as a pikestaff, as plain as the nose on one's face, standing/sticking out like a sore thumb, standing/sticking out a mile, right under one's nose, staring one in the face, writ large, beyond doubt, beyond question, written all over someone, as clear as day, blinding, inescapable, overt, open, undisguised, unconcealed, glaring, blatant, flagrant, barefaced, gross, stark
1.1Plain to see or comprehend: to talk of dawn raids in the circumstances is palpable nonsense
More example sentences
  • The prosecution claimed that the defendant had perjured himself and lied to the court, but the defence described that accusation as palpable nonsense.
  • However, the idea that there could be a casino in every high street is palpable nonsense.
  • It's impressive how the continual repetition of palpable nonsense can create widespread illusions.
2Able to be touched or felt: the palpable bump at the bridge of the nose
More example sentences
  • His neck was swollen, with no palpable subcutaneous emphysema.
  • Physical examination revealed no palpable nodules, and FNA of the left lobe was performed.
  • Contraindications to sentinel node biopsy include suspicious palpable axillary adenopathy, pregnancy, and multicentric carcinoma.
tangible, touchable, noticeable, detectable, solid, concrete, material, substantial, real



Pronunciation: /palpəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • In an open voice the narrator implores the reader to ‘Come along,’ to enter the ‘wind’ that sweeps over the cane, to become part of this vision based on an almost physical palpability.
  • This has led to a dramatic improvement in palpability.
  • Some of the new fillers are more permanent, but there have been issues with palpability.


Late Middle English: from late Latin palpabilis, from Latin palpare 'feel, touch gently'.

  • This word is from late Latin palpabilis, from Latin palpare ‘feel, touch gently’, the source too of the medical term palpate (mid 19th century) ‘examine by touch’. When Osric says in Hamlet ‘A hit, a very palpable hit’ (Act 5, scene 2) he is using ‘very palpable’ in a literal sense, ‘truly feelable’, but the sense of a feeling that is so strong that it is almost touchable was already found in late Latin and is also in late Middle English. Latin palpare also developed the variant palpitare literally ‘to touch gently repeatedly’, but used for ‘to tremble, throb’, source of our words palpitate (early 17th century) and palpitation (Late Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: palp|able

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