American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Not perceptible to the touch; intangible.
- adj. Difficult to perceive or grasp by the mind.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Incapable of being perceived by touch; wanting palpable substance or consistency; too unsubstantial or too fine to be felt. In chemical analysis a fragment of a rock or mineral is often required to be ground or pulverized to so fine a powder that when it is rubbed between the fiugers no grit is perceptible. This is called reducing to an impalpable powder.
- Hence That cannot be grasped by the intellect; incomprehensible; intangible: as, impalpable distinctions.
- Synonyms Imperceptible, intangible, unsubstantial.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Not palpable; that cannot be felt; extremely fine, so that no grit can be perceived by touch.
- adj. Not material; intangible; incorporeal.
- adj. Not apprehensible, or readily apprehensible, by the mind; unreal.
- adj. imperceptible to the senses or the mind
- adj. not perceptible to the touch
- adj. incapable of being perceived by the senses especially the sense of touch
- From im- + palpable (Wiktionary)
“If we want endless, satisfying blue, we must look up to where it dwells in impalpable space, shining like solid enamel, or liquid and vague.”
“As for microscopic lesions, once detected in mammograms, a doctor is duty bound to treat them as there is no way of knowing whether these early "impalpable" cancers will be aggressive or harmless.”
“All sorts of higher abstractions bring with them the same kind of impalpable appeal.”
“You who listen to me Sunday after Sunday will not suspect me of seeking to minimise either of these two aspects of our Lord's mission and operation, but I do believe that very largely the glad thought of an indwelling Christ, who actually abides and works in our hearts, and is not only for us in the heavens, or with us by some kind of impalpable and metaphorical presence, but in simple, that is to say, in spiritual reality is in our spirits, has faded away from the consciousness of the”
“These drawings adorno contact with real real power and varied assortment varies impalpable awakening and elegant ideas.”
“Though the pack rat typically cuts a reclusive figure, Gavin Pretor-Pinney is an exception: a man who loves the open air and collects impalpable things that will never clutter shelves, gather dust or annoy spouses.”
“Consider it mud, invisible, impalpable, but heavy as mud.”
“Imagine, further, this sand to be invisible, impalpable, yet to retain all the weight and density of sand.”
“As he stood, thinking it out, feeling the wonder and the glory, at times sorry for those who can see no longer the slanting sheets of rain and the grass at the feet, at times feeling that since this is good, in some impalpable way oblivion to all this may be also good, as he stood there, flushed with the climbing and sad with great joy, the thought came: With whom?”
“Above float clouds—white, gray, and inken, while the clear, impalpable air springs and sparkles like new wine.”
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