sen·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ˌsen(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē \
plural sensibilities

Definition of sensibility 

1 : ability to receive sensations : sensitiveness tactile sensibility

2 : peculiar susceptibility to a pleasurable or painful impression (as from praise or a slight) often used in plural

3 : awareness of and responsiveness toward something (such as emotion in another)

4 : refined or excessive sensitiveness in emotion and taste with especial responsiveness to the pathetic

Examples of sensibility in a Sentence

The writer is remembered most for his sensibility. She's a woman of poetic sensibility.

Recent Examples on the Web

With a '30s vibe and glamorous lighting, this chic bedroom from Sweet & Willow showcases their feminine sensibility. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "Go Inside The London Design Festival, AKA Fashion Week For Decor Addicts," 2 Oct. 2018 Cast by Piergiorgio Del Moro, that lineup reflected a modern sensibility that carried the message of fashion for all. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Rihanna Gathered an Outstanding Badgal Crew for her Savage x Fenty Lingerie Show," 13 Sep. 2018 Focus Features Beloved British novelist Sarah Waters is famous for mixing the classic forms of the Victorian novel with modern literary sensibilities, feminism, and queerness. Aja Romano, Vox, "How The Little Stranger uses its ghost story to mask a study in toxic masculinity," 6 Sep. 2018 The addition of colorful hardware throughout their home—and the installation of a vintage American Standard orange sink in the kitchen—gave the place shots of color, along with a modern sensibility. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "9 maximalist interiors that get the style right," 4 Sep. 2018 Paper Flowers’ collection, which is designed with a modern sensibility. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "To Reach Millennials, High-End Jewelers Try New Products—and Approach," 19 June 2018 Warning: This show contains slow, adoring footage of historical dishes that can be quite unappealing by modern sensibilities. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?," 7 June 2018 Of course, our current pope’s modern sensibilities don’t magically clear the Church’s record of all scandal., "Has Catholicism Earned This "Fashion" Moment?," 3 May 2018 The debate over Yawkey Way was part of the larger national debate over markers, memorials and statues that are now perceived as racist or incompatible with modern sensibilities. Mark Pratt,, "Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park changed over racist past," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensibility.' 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 sensibility

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sensibility

The first known use of sensibility was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sensibility



English Language Learners Definition of sensibility

: the kinds of feelings that you have when you hear, see, read, or think about something

: the kinds of feelings that a certain type of person tends to have

: the ability to feel and understand emotions


sen·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ˌsen-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē \
plural sensibilities

Kids Definition of sensibility

1 : the ability to receive or feel sensations

2 : the ability to feel and understand emotions


sen·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ˌsen(t)-sə-ˈbil-ət-ē \
plural sensibilities

Medical Definition of sensibility 

1 : ability to receive sensations sensibility to pain

2 : awareness of and responsiveness toward something (as emotion in another)

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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