Definition of palpate in US English:



[with object]
  • Examine (a part of the body) by touch, especially for medical purposes.

    ‘the skin of the lower neck must be palpated for cysts and infection’
    • ‘An abdominal mass has occasionally been palpated, and rectal examination has frequently revealed a mass in the region of the bladder.’
    • ‘During the examination, the clinician should palpate the skin for temperature changes.’
    • ‘On physical examination, fundal height was 38 cm and a large fetal head was palpated.’
    • ‘The patella and its supporting structures, bilateral joint lines and collateral ligaments are palpated for tenderness, crepitus and localized swelling.’
    • ‘On digital rectal examination, a submucosal tumor was palpated at the anorectal junction.’
    • ‘She experienced pain from the medial aspect of her right hand to her right axilla when that area was palpated by the examiner.’
    • ‘The physician should palpate bony prominences and tendinous insertions near the heel and midfoot, noting any tenderness or palpable defects.’
    • ‘The examiner then palpated the thyroid area with his right forefinger.’
    • ‘Ideally, sites should be palpated rather than just visually examined.’
    • ‘The physician palpates the joint line on the dorsum of the foot and passively flexes and extends the toe to locate the joint line.’
    • ‘The surgeon examined the wound carefully, palpating the thigh well beyond the extent of the lesion, paying what I thought was unnecessary attention to the rest of the limb.’
    • ‘No mass was palpated on physical examination, and her mammography was negative.’
    • ‘Because the patient was obese, the uterus and ovaries could not be palpated clearly at pelvic examination.’
    • ‘No other lesions were palpated, and the remaining physical examination findings were unremarkable.’
    • ‘The auricular lymph nodes are palpated by the bilateral placement of both hands on the skin surface with the fingertips arranged to cover a large surface area.’
    • ‘During physical examinations, the extremity should be palpated carefully for masses.’
    • ‘Thyroid masses and lymphadenopathy that cause obstructive dysphagia can be palpated on examination of the neck.’
    • ‘The ureteral catheters enable the surgeon and assistant to see and palpate the ureters during the procedure.’
    • ‘However, follow-up measurements of blood pressure and heart rate were obtained by using a manual cuff with auscultation and palpating the radial artery to ensure the patient's safety.’
    • ‘If the bald spot is predominantly unilateral, the physician should palpate the occiput for significant flattening.’
    massage, press, manipulate, rub, handle, stroke, feel
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Mid 19th century (earlier ( late 15th century) as palpation): from Latin palpat- ‘touched gently’, from the verb palpare.