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: to examine by touch especially medically.

1. The veterinarian carefully palpated the dog’s leg before informing the owner that the animal had suffered a mild sprain.
2. “Kayla Preisler closed her eyes and Courtlynn Pulcini touched her fingers to her classmate’s lids, gently palpating the area.… As part of their training, the students recently gave each other all sorts of tests, from audiology screening to eye exams.” — From an article by Marie Therese Biebel in the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader (Pennsylvania), October 31, 2013
Etymologists have suggested that “palpate” may have been coined in the mid-19th century from the word “palpation,” presumably by English speakers who assumed that if the noun “palpation” existed, there must also be a verb “palpate.” “Palpation,” in turn, traces back to the Latin noun “palpation” or “palpatio,” which derives from the verb “palpare” (meaning “to stroke or caress”). Other descendants of “palpare” in English include “palpable,” “palpitate,” and a synonym of today’s word, the verb “palp.” Even “feel” itself is a distant cousin of “palpitate,” as both words can be linked to the same ancient root word that gave Latin “palpare.”

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