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

Keep scrolling for more

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

On Tuesday, Bellami Hair issued an apology to Jordyn Woods after the brand was called out for creating an insensitive meme about her new hairstyle. Alyssa Hardy, Allure, "Bellami Hair Just Apologized to Jordyn Woods For Posting a Meme About Her "Bad Hair"," 14 Mar. 2019 Brown’s attorneys claim that instead of simply issuing Brown a ticket, Grams confronted Brown in an aggressive and racially insensitive manner. Michael Mccann,, "Inside Sterling Brown’s compelling lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and City of Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 Veuer's Sam Berman has the full story. Buzz60 Target is pulling an American Greetings card from its shelves after an outcry from customers who called it racially insensitive. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Target pulls American Greetings 'Baby Daddy' card featuring black couple after outcry," 14 June 2018 But Stewart's win is further evidence that a reliable block of GOP voters are willing to embrace candidates who do and say things that are racially insensitive at best. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Another candidate with problematic views on race just won his GOP primary," 13 June 2018 While the style was popular in the Early Modern period, it is now considered racially insensitive. Sarah Midkiff,, "The Princess Who Wore The Racist Brooch Was Still Invited To The Royal Wedding," 20 May 2018 Just this month the internet collectively confronted a racially insensitive campaign by H&M, and offensive pro-slavery merchandise carried by Amazon. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Ulyana Sergeenko and Miroslava Duma's Apologies for Saying the N-Word Add Insult to Injury," 24 Jan. 2018 Not Meeting the Needs of Native Youth Eric Stegman (Carry the Kettle First Nation), executive director of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, said that other culturally-insensitive events happen everyday to Native youth. Teen Vogue, "New Mexico Teacher Accused of Calling a Native Student a "Bloody Indian" and Cutting Another's Hair on Halloween," 3 Dec. 2018 At Yale, tensions came to a head over the issue of racially insensitive Halloween costumes. Newsweek, "December 25 Issue," 25 Dec. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of insensitive

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insensitive

Statistics for insensitive

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insensitive

The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insensitive



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

Keep scrolling for more

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 that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!