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 formspal·pa·bil·i·ty, pal·pa·ble·ness, nounpal·pa·bly, adverbnon·pal·pa·bil·i·ty, nounnon·pal·pa·ble, adjectivenon·pal·pa·bly, adverbun·pal·pa·ble, adjectiveun·pal·pa·bly, adverb

Synonyms for palpable

Antonyms for palpable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palpably

Contemporary Examples of palpably

  • It's a punch to the gut for Barb, and her pain is palpably felt here, and the line at the end—"Your 15 minutes are up."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Big Love's 12 Most Memorable Moments

    Jace Lacob

    March 19, 2011

  • So if what Reid said was palpably true, why is he in so much trouble?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Harry Reid Was Right

    Peter Beinart

    January 10, 2010

  • The mood inside the West Wing late Friday was cautiously, but palpably, optimistic about securing a Copenhagen deal.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's New Climate Plan

    Richard Wolffe

    December 5, 2009

  • The campaign this time around is palpably tenser and the atmosphere is hotter.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Our Friend Iran?

    Leslie H. Gelb

    June 9, 2009

Historical Examples of palpably

British Dictionary definitions for palpably



(usually prenominal) easily perceived by the senses or the mind; obviousthe excuse was a palpable lie
capable of being touched; tangible
med capable of being discerned by the sense of toucha palpable tumour
Derived Formspalpability or palpableness, nounpalpably, adverb

Word Origin for palpable

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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

palpably in Medicine




Perceptible to touch; capable of being palpated.
Evident; obvious.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.