in·​sen·​si·​tive | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsen(t)-s(ə-)tiv How to pronounce insensitive (audio) \

Definition of insensitive

1a : lacking feeling or tact so insensitive as to laugh at someone in pain
b : not responsive or susceptible insensitive to the demands of the public
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 insensitive (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 Murphy's tweet provoked criticism by some who alluded that the tweet was insensitive both to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and to Omar, one of three Muslims serving in Congress. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "GOP lawmaker slammed over deleted tweet comparing second Capitol attack to 9/11," 5 Apr. 2021 Even for candidates who are not actively courting the Orthodox community, no candidate wants to appear to be insensitive to a religious group, especially one that comprises a substantial voting bloc. Shira Hanau,, "Oversight of Orthodox yeshivas becomes major issue in NYC mayoral race," 25 Mar. 2021 Critically, the torsion pendulum is very insensitive to forces from distant objects, which tug on the test mass and counterbalance together and thus do not induce rotation. Ben Brubaker, Scientific American, "Physicists Measure the Gravitational Force between the Smallest Masses Yet," 10 Mar. 2021 The seductive appeal of Prime and the fact that its members have proven to be insensitive to price increases leads Gaster to conclude that raising Prime fees is on Amazon’s agenda. Pamela N. Danziger, Forbes, "Amazon Is A Marvel Of Digital Capitalism And That Is The Problem," 28 Feb. 2021 Find ways to express the truth without being insensitive to others. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 22, 2020: Virgo; think before you speak; Capricorn, gatherings may overwhelm you," 22 Dec. 2020 Thomas, the Plastics Industry Association representative, said plastics makers and users have been unfairly characterized as insensitive to the issue of plastic waste. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Plastic bags, forks and containers are everywhere during the pandemic, increasing pollution," 12 Dec. 2020 Criticism of the advert ranged from labeling it as insensitive to being racist. Norma Young, Quartz Africa, "An offensive haircare advert shows Black South Africans still have to fight apartheid’s race battles," 9 Sep. 2020 Amazon doubled the representation of Black directors and vice presidents, launched inclusion training companywide and removed racially insensitive language in its tech documentation. Carolina Milanesi, Forbes, "The Role Of Diversity Equity And Inclusion In Making Amazon The Best Employer On Earth," 20 Apr. 2021

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 1b

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Time Traveler for insensitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of insensitive was in 1834

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Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on insensitive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insensitive

Nglish: Translation of insensitive for Spanish Speakers

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