sen·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌsen(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce sensibility (audio) \
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 Bonnie Hunt Show, which aired for two seasons from 2008 to 2010, was prime comfort TV that highlighted its host’s sharp wit and down-to-earth sensibility. Tom Smyth, Vulture, 4 June 2021 Write about a refined single woman with a melancholy temperament and an exquisite sensibility moving languidly through her beautiful old European city, and a certain amount of romanticizing is all but inescapable. Sigrid Nunez, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2021 That sensibility at that moment in time, worldwide, was the right thing. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2021 The design of the house takes its visual cues and sensibility from the artist’s practice. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, 17 Feb. 2021 The single-story building’s clean lines and cool material palette betray Meckfessel’s modernist sensibility. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, 28 May 2021 That sense of being in the presence of the offbeat, of being tickled by novelty, of new sensibility dawning. Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 All the puzzles on the train car, and the nature of those numbers on Tulip's hands, reflect a gamer's sensibility. Darren Franich,, 16 Apr. 2021 There is a solution that follows Dante’s Catholic sensibility, but that in reality need not be religious at all. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2021

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

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Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensibility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce sensibility (audio) \
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 How to pronounce sensibility (audio) \
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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