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 hypersensitive (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 The Left is Victorian — increasingly puritanical, regressive, and hypersensitive. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Progressives Are No Longer Defenders of Free Expression," 3 Dec. 2020 The discovery could even lead to better technology for detecting sound, such as hypersensitive microphones, Stafstrom says. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Ogre-faced spiders have great hearing—without ears," 29 Oct. 2020 To the Harwood Heights girl, the world is loud, sometimes too loud, but her hypersensitive hearing is credited with saving the life of her neighbor last winter. Anna Kim, chicagotribune.com, "Harwood Heights 13-year-old’s hypersensitive hearing saved neighbor’s life," 22 Aug. 2020 But in the hypersensitive culture we're now exposed to, with the offense-O-meter always at maximum levels, the company was under pressure to change its labeling. Editorial Board Chicago Tribune (tns), Star Tribune, "Challenged by a hypersensitive culture, Trader Joe's sticks with its labeling," 6 Aug. 2020 The whiplash from the stunning speed of that shift has left my whole being hypersensitive to any sudden movement, to being jerked around. Lisa Richardson, Longreads, "How to Tell Your Husband You’re a Witch," 8 Apr. 2020 At a hypersensitive moment when even an outspoken mega-hyphenate like LeBron James goes mute from China anxiety, Carrey and Vachon conjure brutal visions of the Cultural Revolution. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Jim Carrey talks Memoirs and Misinformation, his novel about Jim Carrey," 7 July 2020 Your former friend appears to be both aggressive and hypersensitive. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Aggressive person gets angry when asked to social distance," 12 June 2020 Some cases of colic may also be the earliest symptom of migraine, a heritable neurological disorder that makes the brain hypersensitive and is best known for causing painful headaches. Patricia Waldron, New York Times, "All Babies Cry, but How Much Is Too Much?," 18 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hypersensitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypersensitive was in 1871

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Cite this Entry

“Hypersensitive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersensitive. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for hypersensitive



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 hypersensitive (audio) \ noun, plural hypersensitivities

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