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 Given the current configuration of the Court, Kagan’s case-by-case approach and tactical sensibility may prove particularly helpful in preserving progressive gains—and in some instances her method may be the only hope for doing so. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Is the Supreme Court’s Fate in Elena Kagan’s Hands?," 11 Nov. 2019 But, what's here now is already fantastic—a perfect blend of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 with modern nu-MMO (Destiny, The Division, Path of Exile) sensibilities. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Diablo 4 impressions: Soaking in dark atmosphere and feel-good combat," 9 Nov. 2019 Broadly, the English news coverage saw the Ramjanmabhumi campaign as a threat to law and order, while the Hindi press was open to the religious claims being made and often saw the movement as reflecting majority sensibility. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "How a 1980s TV soap did the spadework for Hindu nationalism," 8 Nov. 2019 Are there things in common with Canada’s reputation for modesty and the Midwestern sensibility here in the states of not tolerating big egos? Nina Metz,, "Noel Fisher on Mickey Milkovich returning to the Gallagher fold for ‘Shameless’ Season 10," 6 Nov. 2019 When one sensibility sniffs another on its turf, conflict ensues. John Wenzel, The Know, "Review: “No Safe Spaces” talks itself in circles around free-speech on college campuses," 1 Nov. 2019 Some find Fall's larkish sensibility winning, others grating. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mixtape: Dining Review," 1 Nov. 2019 This side of Chiang Kai-shek, in the personal relationship and his imaginativeness and sensibility to May-Ling was a bit surprising to me. Suyin Haynes, Time, "The Forgotten Women Who Shaped China in the 20th Century," 29 Oct. 2019 This is how strangely death shuffles like a deck of cards the emotions and sensibilities of the people surrounding the dying person. Carolita Johnson, Longreads, "A Woman’s Work: Till Death Do Us Part," 28 Oct. 2019

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 2019

Time Traveler for sensibility

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

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More Definitions for sensibility


How to pronounce sensibility (audio)

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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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).


something of little or no value

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