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 The first step is to take a red pen to the insensitive myths and practices surrounding Thanksgiving, particularly as it is taught to young children. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "How to talk to kids about Thanksgiving so that they really get it," 26 Nov. 2019 Don’t focus on insensitive delivery or your personal opinion of your critic. Young Entrepreneur Council,, "6 expert tips for handling negative feedback like a pro," 6 Nov. 2019 For people with families like mine, the excessive stream of family dinner photos that inundates my feeds during the holiday season just feels exhausting and insensitive. Perri O. Blumberg, Redbook, "Why You Should Stop Posting Your Christmas Photos On Social Media," 16 Oct. 2019 Conguitos, a brand popular in Spain and Portugal but not in the UK, is often the subject of criticism over its insensitive logo., "Bernardo Silva Faces Racism Storm Over Tweet Aimed at Man City Teammate Benjamin Mendy," 22 Sep. 2019 Local media, far from verifying and publishing a balanced report on this incident, attacked the woman with insensitive accusations, assuming her guilt. Nikita Joseph, Quartz India, "“They pluck out hearts of children”—how fake news is crippling Indian villages with anxiety," 17 Sep. 2019 But Kant was not alone in being insensitive to the plight of millions of Delhi residents. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "“Sorry Delhi” photos on Twitter taunt choking residents of India’s capital," 4 Nov. 2019 The Ki-taeks scheme to steal the Parks’ envied luxe — an insensitive joke that admits impolite class resentment. Armond White, National Review, "Parasite: Antifa Comedy for the Cancel-Culture Era," 11 Oct. 2019 Episode 1 depicts the repetitive, invasive process that some victims go through, as Marie is forced by insensitive police officers to relive her assault again and again. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Unbelievable's Kaitlyn Dever on Why She Chose Not to Speak with the Real Marie," 25 Sep. 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.

See More

First Known Use of insensitive

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insensitive

Time Traveler for insensitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

See more words from the same year

Statistics for insensitive

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insensitive


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

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).


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!