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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 of imperceptible
1520-1530
From the Medieval Latin word imperceptibilis, dating back to 1520-30. 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imperceptibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Steadily, imperceptibly, and surely, until it was paramount and supreme.

  • I had seen it, the slight puff of the earlobes—oh, so imperceptibly slight.

    The House of Pride Jack London
  • imperceptibly, Helen straightened herself and took a breath.

    Moor Fires

    E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
  • Slowly, imperceptibly, the orientation of the planet has changed.

    The Life Radiant

    Lilian Whiting
  • He drifted away from Miriam imperceptibly, without knowing he was going.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • But imperceptibly the influences of domestic life had tamed and won him.

    Moods Louisa May Alcott
  • Then he turned to her again and imperceptibly inclined his head.

    Stubble

    George Looms
  • But it was a question that took, not imperceptibly, some answering.

    The Golden Bowl Henry James
  • They fructify in silence, and imperceptibly make their possessor rich.

    Prices of Books Henry B. Wheatley
British Dictionary definitions for imperceptibly

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 imperceptibly

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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26
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