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

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 Your comment about wanting to pick your own vacation destination and not be pressured to go on an expensive journey to celebrate a wedding was pretty insensitive. Ellen Warren,, "Is it ever rude to compliment a stranger?," 14 Aug. 2019 City commissioner Angelo Castillo called the timing of the show insensitive. Laurel Weibezahn,, "Gun show draws outrage, one week after two mass shootings," 9 Aug. 2019 The photo is inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Ole Miss Students Who Posed With Guns In Front Of Emmett Till Memorial Suspended From Frat," 26 July 2019 The photo is inappropriate, insensitive and unacceptable. Jerry Mitchell, ProPublica, "We Found Photos of Ole Miss Students Posing With Guns in Front of a Shot-Up Emmett Till Memorial. Now They Face a Possible Civil Rights Investigation.," 25 July 2019 At its most insensitive, Florida Man profits by punching down at the homeless, drug-addicted or mentally ill. Author: Logan Hill, Anchorage Daily News, "Is it OK to laugh at Florida Man?," 16 July 2019

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

11 Sep 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

Comments on insensitive

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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