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90s Slang You Should Know


[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
From the Medieval Latin word imperceptibilis, dating back to 1520-30. 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imperceptible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The change, at first, was imperceptible: as always the easterly mountains grow visible against a lighter sky.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • Nothing can ever change them but the unconscious and imperceptible movement of the mores.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Her dancing was incredibly light; she looked like some exotic poppy swaying to an imperceptible breeze.

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
  • Again Barbara gave him that imperceptible and flattering touch.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • The smile died away first by imperceptible degrees from his face.

    Salem Chapel, v.1/2 Mrs. Oliphant
  • In its origin it is imperceptible; in its results it is manifest and great.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
  • "She grows lovelier every day, Clotilde does," said the medical student, allowing an imperceptible sigh to escape him.

British Dictionary definitions for imperceptible


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

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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