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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 imperceptibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • imperceptibly, it came to be known that Monsieur the tall and sallow mason yonder, was acquainted with the facts.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • imperceptibly, Helen straightened herself and took a breath.

    Moor Fires E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
  • Fashions change so imperceptibly that it is difficult for the historian to assign their initiatory date.

  • Steadily, imperceptibly, and surely, until it was paramount and supreme.

  • We Spies learn to move the outer lid of the eye so imperceptibly that it cannot be seen.

    Frenzied Fiction Stephen Leacock
  • But imperceptibly the influences of domestic life had tamed and won him.

    Moods Louisa May Alcott
  • imperceptibly the shadows deepened as the veil of night drew silently across the sky.

    Jimbo Algernon Blackwood
  • But it was a question that took, not imperceptibly, some answering.

    The Golden Bowl Henry James
  • Ought not this to be a warning to others, who are travelling on, imperceptibly in the same road to ruin?'

    The Young Man's Guide William A. Alcott
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
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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
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