hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-s(ə-)tiv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio) \

Definition of hypersensitive

1 : excessively or abnormally sensitive
2 : abnormally susceptible physiologically to a specific agent (such as a drug or antigen)

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Other Words from hypersensitive

hypersensitiveness noun
hypersensitivity \ ˌhī-​pər-​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce hypersensitivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of hypersensitive in a Sentence

She's hypersensitive about her past. People who are hypersensitive to the chemical may have violent reactions even to small amounts.

Recent Examples on the Web

Beijing, hypersensitive to any threat to its territorial integrity, will bristle at the unprecedented provocation from this former British colony. Time, "The Ransacking of Hong Kong's Legislature Prompts a 'Zero Tolerance' Warning From Beijing," 2 July 2019 Federal Reserve policy makers have been making dovish noises since U.S. stocks briefly fell into a bear market on Christmas Eve, and investors have been hypersensitive to their comments. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Investors Go From Overoptimistic to Sort of Pessimistic," 21 Jan. 2019 Image Going out in public required becoming hypersensitive to mobs at the supermarket or on the street who, lost in their phones or thoughts, all seemed to head straight for me. Josh Max, New York Times, "When a Vegan Gets Gout," 5 July 2018 Most notably, Earthbound cars do not have hypersensitive scientific instruments that will need to have bare metal in order to get the highest degree of accuracy. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Painting a Mars Rover Is Even More Complicated Than You'd Think," 11 Oct. 2018 The reasonable concern that major plot elements not be divulged has spawned a phobic, hypersensitive taboo against public discussion of anything that happens onscreen. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "‘Avengers: Infinity War’: It’s Marvel’s Universe. We Just Live in It.," 24 Apr. 2018 My toes felt as if my socks were bunched up beneath them, while the balls of my feet had become hypersensitive; a stray grain of cat litter underfoot was maddening. Lynn Peterson Mobley, Washington Post, "My athletic husband stumbled. He was tired. He had a disease we’d never heard of.," 8 July 2018 Sense and Sensibility Town Hall Theatre Company presents Kate Hamill’s rollicking adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about the misadventures of the Dashwood sisters — sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne — in gossipy Regency England. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of June 17," 14 June 2018 But this other idea of being hypersensitive to the way things feel on a sensory level. Chris Payne, Billboard, "Slothrust Announce New Album, Premiere Fuzzy Grunge-Pop Track 'Peach': Exclusive," 28 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of hypersensitive

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for hypersensitive

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for hypersensitive

The first known use of hypersensitive was in 1871

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English Language Learners Definition of hypersensitive

: having feelings that are very easily hurt
: very strongly and easily affected or harmed by something (such as a drug)


hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈsen-sə-tiv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypersensitive

: very sensitive These plants are hypersensitive to cold.


hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-sət-iv, -ˈsen(t)-stiv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio) \

Medical Definition of hypersensitive

1 : excessively or abnormally sensitive
2 : abnormally susceptible physiologically to a specific agent (as a drug or antigen)

Other Words from hypersensitive

hypersensitiveness noun
hypersensitivity \ -​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​ˈtiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce hypersensitivity (audio) \ noun, plural hypersensitivities

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