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[pal-puh-buh l] /ˈpæl pə bəl/
readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, etc.; obvious; evident:
a palpable lie; palpable absurdity.
capable of being touched or felt; tangible.
Medicine/Medical. perceptible by palpation.
Origin of palpable
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin palpābilis that can be touched, equivalent to palpā(re) to stroke, touch, palpate1 + -bilis -ble
Related forms
palpability, palpableness, noun
palpably, adverb
nonpalpability, noun
nonpalpable, adjective
nonpalpably, adverb
unpalpable, adjective
unpalpably, adverb
1. manifest, plain. 2. material, corporeal.
1. obscure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for palpable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her voice, her palpable agitation, prepared us for something extraordinary.

  • How can they expect us to believe this transparent falsehood—this palpable device?

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A palpable success here for either side must go far to decide the issue of the war.

    Lessons of the War Spenser Wilkinson
  • But this is the privilege of beauty, that being the loveliest she is also the most palpable to sight.

    Phaedrus Plato
  • The weak points in that Bill are—a—too palpable, and I fancy you and I should not differ much on that head.

British Dictionary definitions for palpable


(usually prenominal) easily perceived by the senses or the mind; obvious: the excuse was a palpable lie
capable of being touched; tangible
(med) capable of being discerned by the sense of touch: a palpable tumour
Derived Forms
palpability, palpableness, noun
palpably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin palpābilis that may be touched, from Latin palpāre to stroke, touch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for palpable

late 14c., "that can be touched," from Late Latin palpabilis "that may be touched or felt," from Latin palpare "touch gently, stroke" (see feel (v.)). Figurative sense of "easily perceived, evident" also is from late 14c. Related: Palpably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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palpable in Medicine

palpable pal·pa·ble (pāl'pə-bəl)

  1. Perceptible to touch; capable of being palpated.

  2. Evident; obvious.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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