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palpitate

[pal-pi-teyt]
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verb (used without object), pal·pi·tat·ed, pal·pi·tat·ing.
  1. to pulsate with unusual rapidity from exertion, emotion, disease, etc.; flutter: His heart palpitated wildly.
  2. to pulsate; quiver; throb; tremble.
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verb (used with object), pal·pi·tat·ed, pal·pi·tat·ing.
  1. to cause to pulsate or tremble.
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Origin of palpitate

1615–25; < Latin palpitātus, past participle of palpitāre to pulsate, frequentative of palpāre to stroke. See palpus, -ate1
Related formspal·pi·tat·ing·ly, adverbun·pal·pi·tat·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See pulsate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

poundquiverthrobpulsatepulseshivervibratetrembleflutterpitter-patter

Examples from the Web for palpitating

Historical Examples

  • They were sorry for the little white-faced, palpitating thing.

    Life and Death of Harriett Frean

    May Sinclair

  • When he was finally in the coat, she was rather flushed and palpitating.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • They stood before him palpitating like birds, poised, tense for flight.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Then Pierre, having quieted his palpitating heart, drew near.

  • I stood by with a palpitating heart as he turned the lock and opened the door.


British Dictionary definitions for palpitating

palpitate

verb (intr)
  1. (of the heart) to beat with abnormal rapidity
  2. to flutter or tremble
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Derived Formspalpitant, adjectivepalpitation, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin palpitāre to throb, from palpāre to stroke
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 palpitating

palpitate

v.

1620s, from Latin palpitatus, past participle of palpitare "to throb, flutter" (see palpitation). Related: Palpitated; palpitating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper