Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move with a slight tremulous motion; tremble, shake, or quiver.
  • intransitive verb To beat with excessive rapidity; throb.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To beat or pulsate rapidly; throb; flutter or move with slight throbs (said specifically of the heart when it is characterized by an abnormal or excited movement); tremble; quiver.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To beat rapidly and more strongly than usual; to throb; to bound with emotion or exertion; to pulsate violently; to flutter; -- said specifically of the heart when its action is abnormal, as from excitement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive to throb, beat strongly

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

  • verb shake with fast, tremulous movements
  • verb cause to throb or beat rapidly
  • verb beat rapidly

Etymologies

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

[Latin palpitāre, palpitāt-, frequentative of palpāre, to touch gently; see palpable.]

Examples

  • Every thought that was devoted to it was an extreme anguish, and every word that I spoke in allusion to it caused my lips to quiver, and my heart to palpitate.

    Chapter 19

  • Every thought that was devoted to it was an extreme anguish, and every word that I spoke in allusion to it caused my lips to quiver, and my heart to palpitate.

    Chapter 2

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • The ob-gyn uses two fingers to palpitate the organs inside while pressing on the patient's abdomen from the outside, the so-called bimanual exam.

    Questioning the Need for Routine Pelvic Exam

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

  • Years have made me realize, surroundings, ambiance, the drone which makes the heart palpitate, the intimacy, the interplay, the friendships one makes does go to the value of where the heart resides and stays.

    Cathedrals have a way of calling!

Comments

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  • This could also be an admonition from Yoda to implement the Heimlich maneuver. STAT.

    December 18, 2007

  • Hmmm. The Italian equivalent palpitare means to massage or fondle. I remember a case of a Romanian lad who cleaned windscreens at the local traffic lights. A woman wearing a bikini-top wound down her side window one day and abused him for having the temerity to clean her glass without permission. He proceeded to reach into the vehicle and palpitate her upper torso without permission.

    She screamed loud enough for the authorities to deport him.

    December 18, 2007

  • So is this sense of palpitare meaning to fondle relatively new? I recall that in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Donna Elvira sings "...palpitando il cor' mi va."

    December 18, 2007

  • I don't perceive it to be so new, at least not in Italian. I've heard of doctors talking about palpitating the breasts to encourage the production of milk. The sense of palpitare in terms of the heart would probably be heart massage. Then again, I'm not a medic or a composer of opera. We studied a few operatic texts in my 'Storia Della Musica' (History of Music) class but DG wasn't one of them.

    December 18, 2007