in·​sen·​si·​tive | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsen(t)-s(ə-)tiv How to pronounce insensitive (audio) \

Definition of insensitive

1a : lacking feeling or tact so insensitive as to laugh at someone in pain
b : not responsive or susceptible insensitive to the demands of the public
2 : not physically or chemically sensitive

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Other Words from insensitive

insensitively adverb
insensitiveness noun
insensitivity \ (ˌ)in-​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce insensitive (audio) \ noun

Examples of insensitive in a Sentence

He's just a rude, insensitive jerk. It was insensitive of her to say that.
Recent Examples on the Web The boss is insensitive and makes unreasonable demands. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Sep. 2021 Museum staff ultimately decided not to display those materials, and Cochran argues that using them in the film, particularly without a trigger warning, is insensitive. Sanya Mansoor, Time, 19 Aug. 2021 Kids say the darndest — and sometimes more self-centered, insensitive and downright cruel — things. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 Monday's statement is Kirk's second apology since his comments were called insensitive and homophobic. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, 2 Aug. 2021 In this day and age, with all the violence being perpetrated against the Asian Community, my comments – albeit unintentional – were clearly insensitive and regrettable. Vanessa Etienne,, 13 July 2021 In this day and age, with all the violence being perpetrated against the Asian Community, my comments — albeit unintentional — were clearly insensitive and regrettable... cleveland, 13 July 2021 Many of the quips are insensitive and tough to watch just two years after the show ended. Usa Today Staff, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2021 Hurricane names in the Atlantic Basin are recycled every six years, unless a storm is so destructive that the use of its name again would be inappropriate or insensitive. Tandra Smith |, al, 23 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insensitive.' 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 insensitive

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for insensitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of insensitive

: showing that you do not know or care about the feelings of other people
: not responding to or caring about problems, changes, or needs
: not greatly affected by something


in·​sen·​si·​tive | \ in-ˈsen-sə-tiv How to pronounce insensitive (audio) \

Kids Definition of insensitive

1 : lacking feeling : not sensitive He's insensitive to pain.
2 : not caring or showing concern about the problems or feelings of others an insensitive remark

Other Words from insensitive

insensitively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on insensitive

Nglish: Translation of insensitive for Spanish Speakers


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