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[pal-uh-tuh-buh l] /ˈpæl ə tə bəl/
acceptable or agreeable to the palate or taste; savory:
palatable food.
acceptable or agreeable to the mind or feelings:
palatable ideas.
Origin of palatable
1660-70; palate + -able
Related forms
palatability, palatableness, noun
palatably, adverb
nonpalatability, noun
nonpalatable, adjective
nonpalatableness, noun
nonpalatably, adverb
1. delicious, delectable. Palatable, appetizing, tasty, savory all refer to tastes or aromas pleasing to the palate and in some cases to the olfactory nerves. Palatable has the least positive connotation of these terms, often referring to food that is merely acceptable and not especially good: a palatable, if undistinguished, main course; a barely palatable mixture of overcooked vegetables. Appetizing suggests stimulation of the appetite by the smell, taste of food, and is the only one of these words that can also refer to food pleasing to the eye: the appetizing aroma of baking bread; the table contained an appetizing display of meats, cheeses, and salads. Tasty refers to food that has a notable or especially appealing taste: mixed with bits of a tasty sausage; an especially tasty sauce. SAVORY refers most often to well or highly seasoned foods and applies to their appeal in both taste and smell: a savory, succulent roast of beef, spiced with slivers of garlic; the savory aroma of a simmering duck sauce. 2. pleasing, satisfactory.
1. distasteful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for palatability
  • Political palatability is critical, with senators worried about unemployment and ready to pillory anyone connected to bail-outs.
  • First is food engineering, where the goal is to maximise palatability.
  • In these mice, any change in reward behavior cannot be due to food palatability or the sensation of sweetness.
  • Effects of forage species on rib composition, color, and palatability in forage-finished beef.
  • Small amounts of fat are needed to maintain acceptable palatability.
British Dictionary definitions for palatability


pleasant to taste
acceptable or satisfactory: a palatable suggestion
Derived Forms
palatability, palatableness, noun
palatably, 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 palatability



1660s, "good-tasting," from palate + -able. Figurative use from 1680s. Related: Palatably; palatability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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