verb (used with object), pal·pat·ed, pal·pat·ing.

  1. to examine by touch, especially for the purpose of diagnosing disease or illness.


  1. (tr) med to examine (an area of the body) by the sense of touch and pressure


  1. zoology of, relating to, or possessing a palp or palps

n.late 15c., from Middle French palpation, from Latin palpationem (nominative palpatio) “stroking, flattering, flattery,” noun of action from past participle stem of palpare “to touch” (see feel (v.)). Used in English in literal sense. v.“examine by touch,” c.1850, a back-formation from palpation, or else from Latin palpatus, past participle of palpare “to touch” (see feel (v.)). Related: Palpated; palpating. v.

  1. To examine by feeling and pressing with the palms of the hands and the fingers.

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