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The tension in the room was palpable.
  very apparent (so strong, it almost seems to take a material form that can be touched)
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palpable palpably palpability
"Palpable" is frequently used to describe the intensity of an emotion shared between people who can see each other. The implication is that the emotion is so strong, it almost takes a material form that can be touched.

In medicine, "palpable" has a specialized meaning. It means that something such as a tumor can be detected by palpitation; i.e., a physician’s touch.
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  • The tension in the room was palpable.
  • "Can’t see it," remarked Rainsford, trying to peer through the dank tropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • ...her disapproval was palpable.
    Sarah Dessen  --  The Truth About Forever
  • The tension in the room was almost palpable.
    James Dashner  --  The Death Cure

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  • It was a palpable truth, like a sour taste on the tongue tip.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • His relief was palpable.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Elite
  • He hadn’t gone over to his mother’s house until the early afternoon, and her tension was palpable.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • His eyes met Rufus’s; the tension between the two werewolves was as palpable as a live wire.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • We had surrounded Miss Wren and were pressing in on her, our desperation palpable.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Hollow City
  • His relief when he saw me was palpable.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black

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  • Her lawyer objected to the crude questions posed to Walter by the husband’s attorney about the nature of his friendship, sparing him from providing any details, but when he left the courtroom the anger and animosity toward him were palpable.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Inescapably, the realization was being borne in upon my preconditioned mind that the centuries-old and universally accepted human concept of wolf character was a palpable lie.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Chronicler’s curiosity was almost palpable.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • He took Sunny by the hips and with a palpable and surprising gentleness kissed her on the belly.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • It has moved tangible, palpable, into her brain, the way memory invades the present in those who are old, the way gardens invade houses here, the way her tiny body steps into mine as intimate as anything I have witnessed and I have to force myself to be gentle with this frailty in the midst of my embrace.
    Michael Ondaatje  --  Running in the Family
  • You could hear the man’s palpable relief at having found a topic he was comfortable with.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • "Nah," I said, "I was just curious:’ His disdain for me was palpable.
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client
  • The admiration in the voice was palpable.
    Neil Gaiman  --  The Graveyard Book
  • His body radiates a faint but palpable heat in the chair beside her.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Especially with palpable sexual tension thrown in.
    Katja Millay  --  The Sea of Tranquility
  • I felt something on my foot, something palpable and heavy, something alive, something present, something breathing, but most seriously of all, something on my foot.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • His voice trailed off, but the anger coating them had given the air a palpable charge.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • I did not say this, but the words trembled so palpably on my tongue that to this day I’ve retained the impression that they were spoken.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Fear as palpable as a cold front washed over the demigod army.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • The waves of fear and hysteria that swept over the village were palpable; I could feel them beating against the walls of my flimsy shelter.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Her relief at the sight of me was palpable.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • But still, we are forced to admit that in this woeful world, there exist objects with an almost palpable energy of menace . spatulas that seem cursed, couches that contain literal and metaphorical stains of the past, houses that seem to perpetually groan and moan for the sins contained in their environs.
    Kate DiCamillo  --  Flora & Ulysses
  • The words kept coming back to him, statement of a mystical truth and a palpable absurdity.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • Her alarm was palpable.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • The pain in his voice was palpable—and faked, Clary thought bitterly.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • Everyone immediately ran forward, forming a packed crowd around her, a palpable excitement hovering in the air.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • "Well, let me know when you work it out," he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • On at least two occasions I stopped cases where to my mind the accused was palpably innocent, directing the jury that there was no case.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • This palpable-gross play hath well beguil’d The heavy gait of night.
    William Shakespeare  --  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • "Most palpable proofs," said he, "as you may perceive."
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • A sense of excitement rose like a palpable cloud over the campsite as the afternoon wore on.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • There was a palpable sense of trust and camaraderie between the players and their coach, and an equally powerful sense of fragility in all the tension and long silences.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • The bond was too palpable to dismiss.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • As we were seconds away from taking the leap, the multitude of prayers that left the plane were palpable.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • Company would be a palpable improvement, he thought.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Now, thinking about the feeling of fear as he pedaled home along the river path, he remembered that moment of palpable, stomach-sinking terror when the aircraft had streaked above.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • Madame Defarge knitted steadily, but the intelligence had a palpable effect upon her husband.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I draw.
    William Shakespeare  --  Macbeth
  • This was a tremendous advance, because those precancerous cells weren’t detectable otherwise: they caused no physical symptoms and weren’t palpable or visible to the naked eye.
    Rebecca Skloot  --  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • He’s not there, but the tension among the menagerie men is palpable.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • (The graduation ceremonies at Lafayette County Training School had been a mere preliminary.) The ugliness they left was palpable.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • The realities of the soul are none the less realities because they are not visible and palpable.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Slowly, with a palpable reluctance that warmed some of the cold emptiness in the center of my body, Jared let his arms slide away.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  The Host
  • My faux pas was so palpably obvious, so idiotic and unpardonable, that to ignore it would show me to be an even greater fool, if possible, than I was already.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • Will felt the hair on his neck prickle at the palpable, almost physical dislocation of air and space, a tremor that promised violence.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Last Song
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Associated words [difficulty]:   palpable [2]
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