AskDefine | Define palpable

Dictionary Definition

palpable adj
1 capable of being perceived by the senses or the mind; especially capable of being handled or touched or felt; "a barely palpable dust"; "felt sudden anger in a palpable wave"; "the air was warm and close--palpable as cotton" [syn: tangible] [ant: impalpable]
2 can be felt by palpation; "a palpable tumor"

User Contributed Dictionary



From etyl frm palpable and its source, etyl la palpabilis.


  • a UK /ˈpalpəbəl/
  • a US , /ˈpælpəbəl/, /pALp@bL:/


  1. Capable of being touched, felt or handled; touchable, tangible.
  2. Obvious or easily perceived; noticeable.
    The fear in the air was palpable.
  3. That can be detected by palpation.


capable of being touched
that can be detected by palpation







  1. palpable

Extensive Definition

Palpation is used as part of a physical examination in which an object is felt (usually with the hands of a healthcare practitioner) to determine its size, shape, firmness, or location. Palpation should not be confused with palpitation, which is an awareness of the beating of the heart.


Palpation is used by various therapists such as Chiropractors, practitioners of osteopathic medicine, physical therapists, and massage therapists, to asses the texture of a patient's tissue (such as swelling or muscle tone), assess range and quality of joint motion, and assess tenderness through tissue deformation (e.g. provoking pain with pressure or stretching). The scientific literature has shown that motion palpation is often unreliable between practitioners. In contrast, manual tests that provoke or relieve pain have been shown to be more reliable.
Palpation is typically used for thoracic and abdominal examinations, and this but can also be used to diagnose edema and to measure the pulse. It is used by veterinarians to check animals for pregnancy, and by midwives to determine the position of a fetus.

See also


palpable in German: Palpation
palpable in Indonesian: Palpasi
palpable in Dutch: Palpatie
palpable in Polish: Palpacja
palpable in Russian: Пальпация
palpable in Swedish: Palpation

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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