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 Trump, hypersensitive to his domestic political fortunes, has played a strong hand weakly. Karim Sadjadpour, Time, "Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Is One Despot Trump Might Not Win Over," 3 Oct. 2019 After all, their fellow politicians are nothing if not hypersensitive to even the slightest shifts in the winds of power. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, "Amid 'race card' allegations, Pelosi teaches Ocasio-Cortez a math lesson," 14 July 2019 Sure, some of the efforts to police language are almost comically hypersensitive. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Language matters: Like a person with decency, I’m always open to change," 9 Aug. 2019 From then on, the insects are hypersensitive to pain. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Study Finds Insects Can Experience Chronic Pain," 17 July 2019 Confederate differences While slavery is accurately depicted in the mural, Von Blum said some people today are hypersensitive about portrayals of African slaves. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "A California school board has voted to paint over a mural of George Washington. Educators want to save it," 11 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for hypersensitive

Last Updated

22 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hypersensitive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersensitivity. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hypersensitive


How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio)

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

Comments on hypersensitive

What made you want to look up hypersensitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

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