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

These homely little volumes, Mr. Phillips rightly contends, filled an important and mostly overlooked role in forging America’s Anglo-Protestant worldview and shaping Americans’ literary sensibilities. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘The Hymnal’ Review: How to Make a Joyful Noise," 23 Dec. 2018 In these women, that protectiveness and overlapping sensibility is truly evident. Mariano Vivanco; Styled By Simon Robins, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New American Dynasty," 3 Dec. 2018 And the public's sensibilities can shift over time: films that were deemed shocking in the 1930s strike today's audiences as remarkably tame. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We might be able to rate future films with a sniff test, study says," 25 Oct. 2018 Don’t think about American sensibility; don’t think about American sportswear. Faith Cummings, Teen Vogue, "Derek Lam Gives Advice to Young Designers in Powerful Open Letter," 23 Oct. 2018 And possibly where opinion formation, the actual congealing of voter sensibility, is concentrated. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Corruption, fake news, and WhatsApp: how Bolsonaro won Brazil," 29 Oct. 2018 Known by astrologers as the Fourth House, Venus’s movement across this sector will align your core values with your romantic sensibilities. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Cancer Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 With this collection, the Jason Wu brand brings glamorous sensibility paired with their distinctive feminine design style. Ana Colon, Glamour, "Eloquii Is Collaborating With Jason Wu on a Fall 2018 Collection," 24 July 2018 Also, Couch Slouch is a bit suspect of the party-like-it’s-1919 gambling sensibility now out there. Norman Chad, San Antonio Express-News, "Chad: Don’t worry about bookies as gambling proliferates," 21 May 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

11 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on sensibility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sensibility

Spanish Central: Translation of sensibility

Nglish: Translation of sensibility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensibility for Arabic Speakers

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