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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
First recorded in 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for palatable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fruit of which they partook freely was quite sweet and palatable.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Was it not the very curiousness of his relationship with Ingram had made it so palatable?

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • Nothing can be taught that is not palatable, and nothing is now palatable but what is funny.

    The Comic Latin Grammar Percival Leigh
  • Add a saltspoonful of black pepper and a palatable seasoning of salt.

    Sandwiches Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer
  • How to transform the left overs into palatable and wholesome dishes.

    Sandwiches Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer
  • He next attacked the crust of bread, but found it too dry to be palatable.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for palatable


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 palatable

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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