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

Definition of insensitive

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

However, the researchers distinguish between political incorrectness and other types of insensitive communication. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Politically incorrect speech can be good politics," 13 Sep. 2019 The next time your boss makes an insensitive comment or doesn’t listen to ideas from certain team members, say something—and offer a solution. Jennifer Risi, Quartz at Work, "If you really want a diverse workforce, think smaller," 12 Sep. 2019 The team decided to remove the caricature from its uniforms after the season, stemming from intense pressure from fans who claimed the logo was racially insensitive. Nihal Kolur,, "Indians' Chief Wahoo Hats With Jackie Robinson Patch Already Being Sold on eBay," 16 Apr. 2018 Several articles have been published in the past 24 hours regarding the governor’s apology for a racially insensitive incident that took place in 1967. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Kay Ivey’s sorority publicly rejects “offensive” blackface skit in email to alums," 3 Sep. 2019 The latest attempt by the British government to tackle a rise in knife attacks among young people has been widely criticized as ineffective and racially-insensitive. Julia Webster, Time, "'Racist, or, at Best, Unfathomably Stupid.' Britons Finding it Hard to Swallow Campaign to Curb Knife Crime With Ads on Fried Chicken Boxes," 23 Aug. 2019 Even a great, loving kid can still do insensitive, clueless or even mean things. Braden Bell, Washington Post, "Eight things for parents to keep in mind when dealing with school discipline issues," 6 Sep. 2019 Stella's path to a happy ending is littered with obstacles, from her discomfort with human touch to her frank — and sometimes unintentionally insensitive — conversation style. Lisa Bonos, Dallas News, "Romance novelist Helen Hoang writes about love on the autism spectrum," 23 July 2019 Incognito used racially insensitive language toward Martin, who never again played for the Dolphins after leaving the team. Adam H. Beasley, miamiherald, "Four years after Bullygate, Incognito accused of making ‘racist slurs’ during game," 7 Jan. 2018

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 1a

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Statistics for insensitive

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for insensitive

The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on insensitive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insensitive

Spanish Central: Translation of insensitive

Nglish: Translation of insensitive for Spanish Speakers

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