What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[im-per-sep-tuh-buh l] /ˌɪm pərˈsɛp tə bəl/
very slight, gradual, or subtle:
the imperceptible slope of the road.
not perceptible; not perceived by or affecting the senses.
something not capable of being perceived by the senses:
metaphysical speculation about imperceptibles.
Origin of imperceptible
1520-30; < Medieval Latin imperceptibilis. See im-2, perceptible
Related forms
imperceptibility, imperceptibleness, noun
imperceptibly, adverb
2. hidden, unperceivable, undetectable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for imperceptibly
  • It all happened in skiing slowly and almost imperceptibly.
  • Changes, when they do occur, come slowly and almost imperceptibly.
  • It is said the frog could be boiled alive if one raised the temperature imperceptibly slowly.
  • And then slowly, almost imperceptibly, her head would begin to fall again until she was gone.
  • Secular refers to long-term changes that take place slowly and imperceptibly.
  • These ambush predators blend imperceptibly into their surroundings.
  • The pumpkin, the biggest surprise, was my favorite-slightly vegetal and almost imperceptibly sweet.
  • Sometimes a big idea fades so imperceptibly from public consciousness you don't even notice until it has almost disappeared.
  • The server racks are nearly silent, and their internal fans whirr almost imperceptibly.
  • And among them are almost imperceptibly vintage items that have been chosen with a keen eye for design and continuity.
British Dictionary definitions for imperceptibly


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for imperceptibly



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for imperceptible

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for imperceptibly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with imperceptibly