impalpable

Impalpable describes a feeling that, though real, you can’t logically explain. If you don't know why you love peanut butter and banana sandwiches so much, maybe your reasons are impalpable.

If you’ve ever used the words “I can’t quite put my finger on it” to describe something that you have observed but can't really explain, then you already have a good idea of what impalpable means. Impalpable traces back to the Latin word palpabilis, meaning “that may be touched or felt.” Combine that with the prefix im-, and the word gets its meaning of something that can’t be perceived by normal senses.

Definitions of impalpable
  1. adjective
    not perceptible to the touch
    “an impalpable pulse”
    Synonyms:
    imperceptible, unperceivable
    impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses
  2. adjective
    incapable of being perceived by the senses especially the sense of touch
    synonyms: intangible
    abstract
    existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment
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    Antonyms:
    tangible, touchable
    perceptible by the senses especially the sense of touch
    concrete
    capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
    tactile, tactual
    producing a sensation of touch
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  3. adjective
    imperceptible to the senses or the mind
    “an impalpable cloud”
    impalpable shadows”
    impalpable distinctions”
    “as impalpable as a dream”
    Synonyms:
    elusive, subtle
    difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
    imperceptible, unperceivable
    impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses
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    Antonyms:
    palpable, tangible
    capable of being perceived; especially capable of being handled or touched or felt
    perceptible
    easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind
    perceptible
    capable of being perceived by the mind or senses
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