noun \ˈsen(t)s\

: one of the five natural powers (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing) through which you receive information about the world around you

: a physical feeling : something that your body experiences

: a particular feeling : an emotion that you are aware of

Full Definition of SENSE

:  a meaning conveyed or intended :  import, signification; especially :  one of a set of meanings a word or phrase may bear especially as segregated in a dictionary entry
a :  the faculty of perceiving by means of sense organs
b :  a specialized function or mechanism (as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch) by which an animal receives and responds to external or internal stimuli
c :  the sensory mechanisms constituting a unit distinct from other functions (as movement or thought)
:  conscious awareness or rationality —usually used in plural <finally came to his senses>
a :  a particular sensation or kind or quality of sensation <a good sense of balance>
b :  a definite but often vague awareness or impression <felt a sense of insecurity> <a sense of danger>
c :  a motivating awareness <a sense of shame>
d :  a discerning awareness and appreciation <her sense of humor>
:  consensus <the sense of the meeting>
a :  capacity for effective application of the powers of the mind as a basis for action or response :  intelligence
b :  sound mental capacity and understanding typically marked by shrewdness and practicality; also :  agreement with or satisfaction of such power <this decision makes sense>
:  one of two opposite directions especially of motion (as of a point, line, or surface)

Examples of SENSE

  1. All of my senses were on the alert for danger.
  2. We had a sense that something wasn't quite right.
  3. His senses were clear despite his illness.
  4. There is an unnerving sense now that technology is driving the culture rather than the reverse. Machines and sites and software are breeding at an exponential clip, and we hapless humans race around trying to adapt. —Steven Johnson, Discover, July 2006

Origin of SENSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French sen, sens sensation, feeling, mechanism of perception, meaning, from Latin sensus, from sentire to perceive, feel; perhaps akin to Old High German sinnan to go, strive, Old English sith journey — more at send
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of SENSE

sense, common sense, judgment, wisdom mean ability to reach intelligent conclusions. sense implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence <a choice showing good sense>. common sense suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge <common sense tells me it's wrong>. judgment implies sense tempered and refined by experience, training, and maturity <they relied on her judgment for guidance>. wisdom implies sense and judgment far above average <a leader of rare wisdom>.


transitive verb \ˈsen(t)s\

: to understand or be aware of (something) without being told about it or having evidence that it is true

of a machine : to detect the presence or occurrence of (something)


Full Definition of SENSE

a :  to perceive by the senses (see 1sense)
b :  to be or become conscious of <sense danger>
:  to detect automatically especially in response to a physical stimulus (as light or movement)

Examples of SENSE

  1. She immediately sensed my dislike.
  2. A motion detector can sense movement.
  3. The latest feature on air conditioners is a big new plug to help prevent fires. The plug shuts down power when it senses that the air conditioner cord is damaged. —Consumer Reports, July 2005

Origin of SENSE

(see 1sense)
First Known Use: circa 1531

Rhymes with SENSE

May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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