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 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 Schantz was put on administrative leave by the club after appearing insensitive after Phoenix's Junior Flemmings directed a homophobic slur toward Martin, who is openly gay, during the clubs match on Sept. 30. Lorenzino Estrada, The Arizona Republic, "Rising FC coach Rick Schantz after reinstatement: 'I need to make sure everyone learns from my experience'," 21 Oct. 2020 The teacher’s suggestion to leave the classroom, the principal said, had been insensitive. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "French Police Fatally Shoot Man Who Beheaded Teacher on the Street," 16 Oct. 2020 Even Ron Rivera, head coach of the Washington NFL team, has dealt with insensitive jokes. Joseph Salvador, USA TODAY, "What aren't there more Latinos playing and coach high school and college football?," 14 Oct. 2020 But this year, given the deadly nature of the pandemic, a big, giddy skeleton display seemed insensitive, Louellen Berger said. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer,, "Uptown New Orleans skeleton display mostly taking year off, to discourage coronavirus crowds," 2 Oct. 2020 First, at both short and medium horizons the terms-of-trade should be insensitive to exchange rate fluctuations. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: Surge in Entrepreneurship amid Pandemic," 30 Sep. 2020 For the first time in weeks, The Challenge: Total Madness didn't suffer from producers editing Dee out after MTV cut ties with her due to her racially insensitive tweets. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Double elimination ends in tears," 2 July 2020 The rice brand, which came under scrutiny in June for using racially insensitive stereotypes, has officially rebranded to Ben's Original. Mary Honkus,, "Uncle Ben's Rice Officially Changes Its Name and Packaging," 24 Sep. 2020 Schnatter, who was banished from the corporate headquarters in eastern Louisville in July 2018 after a scandal erupted over racially insensitive remarks, has cut all ties with the company. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Papa John's founder John Schnatter saddened and disappointed by chain's Atlanta move," 18 Sep. 2020

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

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce insensitive (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insensitive

Nglish: Translation of insensitive for Spanish Speakers

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