in·​sen·​si·​tive (ˌ)in-ˈsen(t)-s(ə-)tiv How to pronounce insensitive (audio)
: lacking feeling or tact
so insensitive as to laugh at someone in pain
: not responsive or susceptible
insensitive to the demands of the public
: not physically or chemically sensitive
insensitively adverb
insensitiveness noun

Example Sentences

He's just a rude, insensitive jerk. It was insensitive of her to say that.
Recent Examples on the Web Residents say using Eloise for entertainment is insensitive and exploitative to the patients who came to the asylum for treatment before its closing in 1982. Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, 1 Feb. 2023 Nate Mroz, founder of the BFLO Store (the official retailer of the Bills), didn’t have any Hamlin jerseys in stock and didn’t want to design a custom shirt for fear of being insensitive or opportunistic. Nicole Yang,, 6 Jan. 2023 There is a way to be transparent and open without being insensitive or defeatist, even when dealing with cancer. S. Monica Soni, STAT, 6 Sep. 2022 In this social and political landscape, a show such as The Kings of Napa feels insensitive and outdated. Tanisha C. Ford, The Atlantic, 19 Apr. 2022 But after this week’s revival of the theme, many voiced their criticism, accusing her of being insensitive to the victims of the festival. Jonah Valdezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2023 No, but they shouldn't exactly be held to the same standard as an accountant who may understandably be fired for saying something insensitive without using an art form to make a larger point. Scott King, Forbes, 28 May 2021 This soft tyranny is reinforced by the total lack of forgiveness in our culture when someone — yes, even a 15-year-old girl — says or does something politically insensitive or inappropriate. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 24 Mar. 2021 Greene, who was first elected to Congress in 2020, was stripped of her congressional committee assignments shortly after she was sworn in for her alleged support of political violence and history of racially insensitive remarks. Arkansas Online, 18 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insensitive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near insensitive

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​sen·​si·​tive (ˈ)in-ˈsen(t)-sət-iv How to pronounce insensitive (audio)
: not sensitive
especially : lacking feeling
insensitively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on insensitive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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