[ pal-pi-teyt ]
See synonyms for: palpitatepalpitating on

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.

verb (used with object),pal·pi·tat·ed, pal·pi·tat·ing.
  1. to cause to pulsate or tremble.

Origin of palpitate

1615–25; <Latin palpitātus, past participle of palpitāre to pulsate, frequentative of palpāre to stroke. See palpus, -ate1

synonym study For palpitate

1. See pulsate.

Other words from palpitate

  • pal·pi·tat·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·pal·pi·tat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use palpitate in a sentence

  • The clear and radiant sky was drowned in a quivering radiance of gold, that was like a thing alive and sensitively palpitating.

    Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
  • Grander and grander the melody rose, voicing loves triumph with wondrous sweetness and palpitating rhythm.

    The Fifth String   | John Philip Sousa
  • His warm and palpitating generalisations, for all the flaws in their reasoning, bear the irrefutable mark of moral reality.

    The Life of Mazzini | Bolton King
  • Above this, at a height of about ten feet, glittered a palpitating silver canopy, almost blinding in its sparkle and its sheen.

    The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries | Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • They feed only on living prey, which they chew slowly, beginning at the belly, and boring slowly into the palpitating cavity.

British Dictionary definitions for palpitate


/ (ˈpælpɪˌteɪt) /

  1. (of the heart) to beat with abnormal rapidity

  2. to flutter or tremble

Origin of palpitate

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

Derived forms of palpitate

  • palpitant, adjective
  • palpitation, noun

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