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sen·​si·​ble ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio)
: having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason : rational, reasonable
sensible people
made a sensible answer
: designed for practical ends (such as comfort) rather than for appearance
sensible shoes
: of a kind to be felt or perceived: such as
: perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding
felt a sensible chill
her distress was sensible from her manner
: perceptible as real or material : substantial
the sensible world in which we live
archaic : perceptibly large : considerable
: capable of receiving sensory impressions
sensible to pain
: receptive to external influences : sensitive
the most sensible reaches of the spirit
: perceiving through the senses or mind : cognizant
sensible of the increasing heat
also : convinced by perceived evidence : satisfied
sensible of my error
: emotionally aware and responsive
we are sensible of your problems
sensibleness noun
sensibly adverb


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: something that can be sensed
Choose the Right Synonym for sensible

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality.

material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping.

material values

physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary.

the physical benefits of exercise

corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force.

artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings

phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction.

scientists concerned with the phenomenal world

sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses.

the earth's rotation is not sensible to us

objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it.

no objective evidence of damage

perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, appreciable, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent.

perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent.

a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener

sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind.

an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature

palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable.

the tension in the air was almost palpable

tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally.

no tangible evidence of UFOs

appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable.

an appreciable increase in income

ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance.

exerted a ponderable influence on world events

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something.

aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences.

aware of changes in climate

cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources.

not fully cognizant of the facts

conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it.

conscious that my heart was pounding

sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities.

sensible of a teacher's influence

alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something.

alive to the thrill of danger

awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert.

a country always awake to the threat of invasion

wise, sage, sapient, judicious, prudent, sensible, sane mean having or showing sound judgment.

wise suggests great understanding of people and of situations and unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them.

wise beyond his tender years

sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom.

the sage advice of my father

sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment.

the sapient musings of an old philosopher

judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions.

judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure

prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion.

a prudent decision to wait out the storm

sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality.

a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery

sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness.

remained sane even in times of crises

Example Sentences

Adjective My teacher gave me some sensible advice. She was sensible enough to stop driving when she got too tired. She wore a sensible coat.
Recent Examples on the Web
In what was perhaps a reflection of the current economic times, several brands presented collections that pushed forward a quiet, almost modest approach to high fashion, with clothes that felt wearable and sensible, while still being aspirational. Marianna Cerini, CNN, 28 Feb. 2023 Aside from all these details, too many public officials are losing sight of the actual problems and what caused them, creating a major hurdle to doing something more sensible and useful. Norbert Michel, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 The sloped-roof X6—a niche, fashion-conscious alternative to the X5—benefits from the same upgrades as its more sensible sibling, including the 48-volt hybrid system that improves the efficiency of both the inline-six and V-8 motors. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 7 Feb. 2023 These big winners at the 2023 Grammys were both somewhat sensible and somewhat surprising (except for maybe Raitt, who was just plain surprising). Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2023 VanVleet, however, could make for a more sensible trade candidate. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 3 Feb. 2023 Today, virtually anyone can buy a few shares of a company and fight openly for more sensible strategies. Terrence Keeley, National Review, 25 Jan. 2023 Instead of starting trade season off with a blockbuster deal highlighted by either their 2027 or 2029 first-round picks, the Lakers struck a more sensible note in trading for the former lottery pick. Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2023 The subject of this earlier one, oddly enough, was that Harry wanted to do conservation work in Africa, which would seem like a far more sensible plan than, say, his earlier foray into strip-billiards-playing in Las Vegas. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 18 Jan. 2023
RuPaul's Drag Race has set its largest cast ever at (a sensible) 16 queens set to enter the Werk Room for season 15. Joey Nolfi,, 13 Dec. 2022 For a sensible, almost every day pick, there is always the Stuart Weitzman loafer with a crystal buckle and a slight heel. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 5 Dec. 2022 While a classic wristwatch from Timex could denote a sensible, no-frills man who appreciates function over flash. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 8 Nov. 2022 The overall impression is of an intelligent pet rather than a machine attempting to seem human—sensible given the robot’s limitations. WIRED, 29 Sep. 2022 If sensible was the only rule to automotive design, everything would look like the inside of a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 27 July 2021 All four characters' voice actors are stellar, though in particular, the band's producer, voiced by Fiona Rene (Stumptown), kills it as the series' sensible-yet-fraught anchor. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 17 Aug. 2022 That’s thanks to unforgivable legislative failure on sensible, lifesaving gun control reforms despite one horrific massacre of innocent people after another. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 The shoes in particular have become something of a signature summertime style for the queen, who has been seen sporting the sensible yet fashionable look on numerous occasions over the years, especially during the warm. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 12 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sensibilis, from sensus, past participle of sentire to feel

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sensible was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sensible

Cite this Entry

“Sensible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: possible to take in by the senses or by reason or understanding
felt a sensible chill
her distress was sensible from the way she acted
: capable of being made aware of or of feeling
sensible to pain
: aware
sensible of the increasing heat
: showing or containing good sense or reason : reasonable
a sensible arrangement
sensibleness noun

Medical Definition


sen·​si·​ble ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio)
: perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding
felt a sensible chill
: capable of receiving sensory impressions
sensible to pain

More from Merriam-Webster on sensible

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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