from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Capable of being handled, touched, or felt; tangible: "Anger rushed out in a palpable wave through his arms and legs” ( Herman Wouk).
  • adj. Easily perceived; obvious: "There was a palpable sense of expectation in the court” ( Nelson DeMille). See Synonyms at perceptible.
  • adj. Medicine That can be felt by palpating: a palpable tumor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Capable of being touched, felt or handled; touchable, tangible.
  • adj. Obvious or easily perceived; noticeable.
  • adj. That can be detected by palpation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of being touched and felt; perceptible by the touch.
  • adj. Easily perceptible; plain; distinct; obvious; readily perceived and detected; gross

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That may be felt; perceptible by the touch; manifest to sight or touch; hence, appearing as if it might be touched or felt.
  • Hence Plain; evident; obvious; easily perceived or detected: as, palpable lies; a palpable mistake.
  • In medicine, perceptible by palpation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. can be felt by palpation
  • adj. capable of being perceived; especially capable of being handled or touched or felt


Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin palpābilis, from Latin palpāre, to touch gently.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French palpable and its source, Latin palpābilis. (Wiktionary)



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  • Go on, palp it.

    February 2, 2016