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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 palpably
  • Proof to the contrary is palpably and daily evident.
  • When the finals begin, the excitement increases palpably.
  • Although this kind of loyalty may not be the highest human virtue, it's nonetheless palpably a virtue.
  • Most installations in the show palpably fall back on pictorial and sculptural conventions.
  • He's not big, but there's something palpably unflinching about him.
  • She used the toilet soap and its scent reminded her, almost palpably, of her husband.
  • It will be shown to be palpably uninterested in ensuring that its own resolutions are enforced.
  • But the claim was palpably false if the people included the rest of the country.
  • And as with music, the more familiar the melody, the more elegant and palpably ingenious can be the variations.
  • Then, as has happened so often in the past, the atmosphere palpably changed.
British Dictionary definitions for palpably


(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
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Word Origin and History for palpably



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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palpably 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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