Definition of impalpable in English:



  • 1Unable to be felt by touch.

    ‘an impalpable ghost’
    • ‘Up to 70% of important abnormalities detected by screening are impalpable, and image guided fine needle aspiration or core biopsy is necessary.’
    • ‘We strongly recommend careful exploration of the abdomen tracing the vas and vessels before labeling impalpable testes as absent.’
    • ‘It stands to reason then that intangible means not tangible, unable to touch, or impalpable.’
    • ‘Yet the apparent paradox of associating touch with something that is intangible and impalpable is not as odd as it might seem.’
    • ‘About one-fourth of the tumors treated with the chosen dose became impalpable 10 days after but all of them showed recurrence within the next 2 weeks.’
    • ‘In palpation you can discover the size and shape of normally palpable organs, find normally impalpable organs, discover palpable masses that are not normally present, and detect the location and degree of tenderness.’
    • ‘What is your preferred surgical treatment for impalpable testis, and why?’
    • ‘His own identity was fading into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling…’
    • ‘It became impalpable, and I said, ‘It's too late, she's gone.’’
    • ‘Hypothermia may render the carotid pulse impalpable, but it is important not to start chest compression without evidence of cardiac arrest.’
    • ‘It's not that they lacked a faith in the impalpable, but rather that the impalpable-love, for example-grew out of the material world and our imaginative associations with it.’
    • ‘Bold choices are attenuated by combination with impalpable chiffon.’
    intangible, insubstantial, incorporeal, unable to be touched, imperceptible to the touch
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not easily comprehended.
      ‘how would anyone come to a decision about something so impalpable as personhood?’
      • ‘For all the book's rigour it is its poetry - the play of charged imagery, the sense of something impalpable that outlasts analysis - that one most remembers.’
      • ‘Not that I would mind selling millions of books to people with impalpable senses of humor, but I've actually been reading his column to find out which clichés and bad jokes to avoid.’
      • ‘Some people claimed that spending all their money on extravagant luxuries was a way to contradict the invisible, nearly impalpable feeling, while others based their life on research and potions against aging.’
      • ‘Their music surely carries that similar impalpable layer of emotion.’
      • ‘What I meant by that, I think, was that something in the atmosphere of these places - indefinable, impalpable - clustered life into articulate and significant relationships.’
      • ‘The markets, as we know, function with that impalpable factor called confidence.’
      • ‘But how do you put a price on what we sell, which is more impalpable, insidious, sad and empty than the decay that you read here?’
      • ‘Great teaching has an impalpable quality that does not always translate well into reminiscence.’


Early 16th century: from French, or from late Latin impalpabilis, from in- ‘not’ + palpabilis (see palpable).