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

The Lisztian prowess of Butler’s pianism on that night, as filtered through a jazz sensibility, pointed to a master in our midst. Howard Reich,, "Remembering Henry Butler, a New Orleans giant," 9 July 2018 Since its formation in Idaho in 1993, Built To Spill has embraced the most robust elements of classic rock while incorporating the slacker sensibility, righteous absurdism and healthy snark of indie-rock to create an innovative new sound. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Break out your flannel: Built to Spill will thrill at Middle of the Map Fest," 28 June 2018 If there’s a sensibility, it wasn’t created out of nowhere. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Vox Editor at Large Ezra Klein on Recode Media," 14 June 2018 The result is a certain pop sensibility, that, when mixed with his underground influences, culminates in a lush blend of indie dance/new wave with minimal techno. Michael Sundius, Billboard, "Gui Boratto Talks New Album 'Pentagram': Listen to 'The Phoenix' (Exclusive)," 13 June 2018 Each has its own distinct personality — from Molly & Isadora, which brings a classic, casual all-American prep sensibility, to Ryan Wythe, which provides elevated workwear for the professional woman. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Design Director Launching Brands for Sizes 14 and Up," 12 June 2018 Tivoli isn’t completely abandoning its audiophile-with-reliable-design-sensibilities roots, however. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Tivoli Audio is taking a cue from B&O Play," 9 May 2018 Here there’s a group sensibility, a depiction of atoms coming together to form something greater. Jeffrey Gantz,, "Wayne McGregor asks the big questions in ‘Atomos’," 5 May 2018 Embrace Taurus's domestic sensibilities: Replace expensive delivery with home-cooked meals, or skip the salon trip in favor of a DIY spa day. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What May's Aries Horoscope Means for You," 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

18 Oct 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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Comments on sensibility

What made you want to look up sensibility? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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