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imperceptible

[im-per-sep-tuh-buh l] /ˌɪm pərˈsɛp tə bəl/
adjective
1.
very slight, gradual, or subtle:
the imperceptible slope of the road.
2.
not perceptible; not perceived by or affecting the senses.
noun
3.
something not capable of being perceived by the senses:
metaphysical speculation about imperceptibles.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Medieval Latin imperceptibilis. See im-2, perceptible
Related forms
imperceptibility, imperceptibleness, noun
imperceptibly, adverb
Synonyms
2. hidden, unperceivable, undetectable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for imperceptible
  • Nearly imperceptible at first, the strengthening current gradually diverted our bubbles at a slight angle as they ascended.
  • These changes, imperceptible to the human eye, occur as the heart pumps blood through the body.
  • After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature.
  • Thus, by slow and imperceptible degrees life draws to its end.
  • Most other cars that have the feature are so quiet, the shut-off is almost imperceptible.
  • Sometimes the movement is so minimal that it is imperceptible.
  • The feeling of new life should be gradual and imperceptible.
  • It's the almost imperceptible evolutions and setbacks that tell all.
  • Some geological processes, such as those that make mountains or wear them down, typically take place at imperceptible rates.
  • The gradual and imperceptible washing away of the land by natural causes.
British Dictionary definitions for imperceptible

imperceptible

/ˌɪmpəˈsɛptɪbəl/
adjective
1.
too slight, subtle, gradual, etc, to be perceived
Derived Forms
imperceptibility, imperceptibleness, noun
imperceptibly, adverb
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 imperceptible
adj.

early 15c., from French imperceptible (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin imperceptibilis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + perceptibilis (see perceptible). Related: Imperceptibly. OED marks imperceivable as "Now rare."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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