When something is palpable, you can touch or handle it, even though the word is often used to describe things that usually can't be handled or touched, such as emotions or sensations.

You probably won't see palpable used to describe, say, an egg or a doorknob or a motorcycle. Palpable is usually reserved for situations in which something invisible becomes so intense that it feels as though it has substance or weight. When the towers came down, the sense of sadness was so great, it was palpable.

Definitions of palpable

adj capable of being perceived; 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”
“a palpable lie”
easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind
capable of being perceived by the mind or senses
imperceptible to the senses or the mind
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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adj can be felt by palpation

“a palpable tumor”
capable of being perceived by the mind or senses

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