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 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 Along with Handel’s Ice Cream, two Birmingham bars, Woolworth and Parkside Cafe, faced a firestorm of criticisms for making racially insensitive statements on social media or implementing dress code policies that target Black customers. al, "Battling systemic racism, COVID-19, Alabama’s Black business owners see surge of support," 23 June 2020 Jefferson and Washington aren’t alone amid the calls to remove tributes to figures deemed racially insensitive. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Media ridiculed Trump in 2017 for predicting social justice movement would target Washington and Jefferson," 22 June 2020 Other racist, offensive and insensitive symbols have been biting the dust in the wake of the protests following the murder of George Floyd. Scott Ostler,, "Benching Aunt Jemima doesn’t fix everything, but it does improve Team USA," 21 June 2020 Cancelling shows and firing stars from series after insensitive comments are among the measures being taken to support the fight for equality. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, "All the celebrities who've been fired for their racist comments, as Hollywood takes account," 20 June 2020 But the filter and social media outcry that followed only reminded the world of the company’s history of racist or insensitive blunders and lack of internal diversity. Los Angeles Times, "Snapchat pulls insensitive Juneteenth filter after backlash. Why does this keep happening?," 19 June 2020 What qualifies as stress-lowering entertainment, and what feels blindly insensitive? oregonlive, "In Hulu’s timely ‘Taste the Nation,’ Padma Lakshmi explores how immigrants helped create American cuisine," 18 June 2020 It's been a little over a week since MTV cut ties with Dee due to her racially insensitive tweets. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Where's Dee?," 18 June 2020 The prime minister, who was born in 1976, disavowed the very real impact of intergenerational trauma, such a depiction of a people who enshrined Ethiopia’s six-year fight against fascism as their own, was insensitive. Zecharias Zelalem, Quartz Africa, "The intertwined histories of the African American freedom struggle and Ethiopia’s war against fascism," 14 June 2020

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

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insensitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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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

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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

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