in·​sen·​si·​ble | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce insensible (audio) \

Definition of insensible

1 : imperceptible dampened by an insensible dew broadly : slight, gradual insensible motion
2 : incapable or bereft of feeling or sensation: such as
a : not endowed with life or spirit : insentient insensible earth
b : unconscious knocked insensible by a sudden blow
c : lacking sensory perception or ability to react insensible to pain
3a : lacking emotional response : apathetic, indifferent insensible to fear
b : unaware insensible of their danger
4 archaic : stupid, senseless
5 : not intelligible : meaningless
6 : lacking delicacy or refinement

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from insensible

insensibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce insensibility (audio) \ noun
insensibleness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈsen(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce insensibleness (audio) \ noun
insensibly \ (ˌ)in-​ˈsen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce insensibly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for insensible


cold, senseless, unconscious



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of insensible in a Sentence

She was knocked insensible by the collision. if a choking person is insensible, you should lay them down on their back before performing the Heimlich maneuver

Recent Examples on the Web

The sentimental, emotional bits have happened hours before, and people have just been getting sloshed, insensible and furiously frolicsome. Christopher Arnott,, "Review: ’Mamma Mia’ a crowded, loud party at CT Rep," 10 June 2019 But there was one class of people who were apparently insensible to the Canyon: copper miners. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "In Awe of the Grand Canyon," 25 July 2018 Beauty companies are not insensible to this predicament. Cristina Mueller, Town & Country, "Beauty and the Bees," 6 Dec. 2012 Often animals from these woods were imagined as insensible beasts. Ankita Chakraborty, Longreads, "A Crocodile In Paris: The Queer Classics of Qiu Miaojin," 8 June 2018 Although the bulb of the follicle is alive, the hair shaft is dead and insensible. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, "Siri Hustvedt’s preening essays take their author’s own brilliance as their main subject.," 13 Jan. 2017 Eclipses happen because every now and then, in predictable but still primally unsettling cycles, a warm, bright, life-giving object is obscured by a dark, dead, insensible rock. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Trump's Anti-Obama Eclipse Meme Doesn't Make Scientific Sense," 24 Aug. 2017 The process exposes birds to a gas mixture that renders them insensible to pain or distress before slaughter. The Washington Post,, "Perdue Farms unveiling more humane chicken slaughtering methods," 17 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of insensible

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insensible

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin insensibilis, from in- + sensibilis sensible

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insensible

Statistics for insensible

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insensible

The first known use of insensible was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insensible



English Language Learners Definition of insensible

: not able to feel pain, emotions, etc.
: not aware of something
: not conscious


in·​sen·​si·​ble | \ in-ˈsen-sə-bəl How to pronounce insensible (audio) \

Kids Definition of insensible

1 : not able to feel The animal is insensible to pain.
2 : not aware of or caring about something They seemed insensible to the danger.


in·​sen·​si·​ble | \ -ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce insensible (audio) \

Medical Definition of insensible

1 : incapable or bereft of feeling or sensation: as
a : unconscious knocked insensible by a sudden blow
b : lacking sensory perception or ability to react insensible to pain
c : lacking emotional response : apathetic
2 : not perceived by the senses insensible perspiration

Other Words from insensible

insensibility \ (ˌ)in-​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce insensibility (audio) \ noun, plural insensibilities

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on insensible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insensible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insensible

Spanish Central: Translation of insensible

Nglish: Translation of insensible for Spanish Speakers

Comments on insensible

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!