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

The Loudoun school system ultimately agreed that book and two others were culturally insensitive and biased and chose alternatives. Washington Post, "To fight hate and stereotypes, students and parents turn to textbooks," 15 June 2019 Rather than running the whole game remotely, one intermediate option is to use it for tricky calculations that are also relatively insensitive to small delays. The Economist, "Video gaming enters the cloud," 15 June 2019 The Broward School Board fired a teacher was accused of choking a student and another teacher accused of making racially insensitive comments. Scott Travis,, "School district fires two teachers for alleged choking, racial comments," 12 June 2019 Advertising Warren has stumbled on racial issues, most notably when she was derided as racially insensitive for using a DNA test to address her past claims to Native American heritage. Errin Haines Whack, The Seattle Times, "Warren building unlikely connection with black female voters," 19 May 2019 My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018 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

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

19 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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