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For verb: From French palper, from Latin palpare, palpari (to stroke, touch softly, feel).

For noun: From New Latin palpus (a feeler), from Latin palpare (to stroke, touch softly, feel).



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palp (plural palps)

  1. (zoology) A pedipalp, an appendage found near the mouth in invertebrates; has a variety of functions but is often primarily used for predating.
  2. A fleshy part of a fingertip.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      He folded his razor neatly and with stroking palps of fingers felt the smooth skin.
    • 1964, K. B. Gilden, Hurry Sundown
      The palps of her fingers itched, thickened, erected with the need to touch the bent head. Plunge into the dust-moted rough blackness of his hair, smooth back downward over the deep-brown nape of his neck.
    • 1984, W. Boyd, Stars & Bars i.i.11:
      With the palp of a forefinger he squeezed moisture from his wiry blond eyebrows.
    • 1998, Renny Christopher, Linda Strom, Lisa Orr, Working Class Studies: 1 & 2, Feminist Press at CUNY ↑ISBN, page 165
      When Mariuchi caresses the plant, for example, sensuously emitting from the palps of her fingers, a siren song.
    • 2008, John Gardner, Mickelsson's Ghosts, New Directions Publishing ↑ISBN, page 130
      He tested the blade against the palp of his thumb, then returned to the living room and decisively, scrape by scrape, cut away the hex sign, leaving a halo of ragged wood.
    • 2012, Sean Stewart, Star Wars: Dark Rendezvous, Random House ↑ISBN
      The bag seethed in her hand, not unpleasantly, as computational monofilaments shifted and flowed under her touch until they cradled the palps of her fingers.




palp (third-person singular simple present palps, present participle palping, simple past and past participle palped)

  1. To feel, to explore by touch.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 729:
      It is not possible to examine a male patient without making him undress and actually palping him all over.


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