per·​cep·​ti·​ble pər-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce perceptible (audio)
: capable of being perceived especially by the senses
a perceptible change in her tone
a barely perceptible light
perceptibility noun
perceptibly adverb

Did you know?

See here: if something is perceptible, you can perceive it (“to notice or become aware of”) or capture it with your senses. Those who are linguistically perceptive may wonder if perceptible comes to us from Latin. It does indeed. Arriving in English by way of Late Latin perceptibilis, perceptible comes from a form of percipere (“to perceive”), which comes from Latin capere (“to take”) and the prefix per- (“thoroughly”). Perceptible shares the capere part of its ancestry with a number of other English words related to seizing or being seized, including capture, captor, captivate, and even catch. An even closer relation of perceptible is perceptive: while perceptible describes what can be perceived, perceptive describes the one who does the perceiving. Perceptive was formed in English from perception, which is also from percipere.

Choose the Right Synonym for perceptible

perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, appreciable, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent.

perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent.

a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener

sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind.

an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature

palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable.

the tension in the air was almost palpable

tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally.

no tangible evidence of UFOs

appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable.

an appreciable increase in income

ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance.

exerted a ponderable influence on world events

Example Sentences

The sound was barely perceptible. There was a perceptible change in the audience's mood.
Recent Examples on the Web Neither function is perceptible at the steering-wheel rim. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 8 Nov. 2022 About an hour before impact, Dimorphos appeared as a tiny, barely perceptible dot near the much brighter asteroid. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2022 Fans highly anticipated and hotly debated new flavors were tickled that La Croix had little perceptible flavor. Sam Stone, Bon Appétit, 29 Oct. 2022 Leave your brow gel at the door—full, feathery eyebrows are out and barely perceptible brows are back in. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 17 Oct. 2022 But the prosecutions haven’t put a perceptible dent in the larger phenomenon of right-wing extremism, an ecosystem that includes white supremacists, antigovernment militants and many (but far from all) supporters of former President Trump. Doyle Mcmanuswashington Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2022 A decade later, on her introspective and varied fifth album, The Loneliest Time, the grit underlying her music’s glitter is more perceptible than ever. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 20 Oct. 2022 If your skin is feeling parched, layering on this hydrator will make an instant and perceptible difference to your skin. Tatjana Freund, ELLE, 3 Sep. 2022 But the garment, though comfortable against the skin, created no perceptible cooling sensation, instant or otherwise. Christopher Flavelle,, 3 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perceptible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1567, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of perceptible was in 1567


Dictionary Entries Near perceptible

Cite this Entry

“Perceptible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


per·​cep·​ti·​ble pər-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce perceptible (audio)
: capable of being noticed or observed
a perceptible change
perceptibly adverb

Medical Definition


per·​cep·​ti·​ble pər-ˈsep-tə-bəl How to pronounce perceptible (audio)
: capable of being perceived especially by the senses
barely perceptible motion
sound perceptible by the human ear
perceptibility noun
plural perceptibilities
perceptibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on perceptible

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