sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Definition of sensible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason : rational, reasonable sensible people made a sensible answer
2 : designed for practical ends (such as comfort) rather than for appearance sensible shoes
3 : of a kind to be felt or perceived: such as
a : perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding felt a sensible chill her distress was sensible from her manner
b : perceptible as real or material : substantial the sensible world in which we live
c archaic : perceptibly large : considerable
4a : capable of receiving sensory impressions sensible to pain
b : receptive to external influences : sensitive the most sensible reaches of the spirit
5a : perceiving through the senses or mind : cognizant sensible of the increasing heat also : convinced by perceived evidence : satisfied sensible of my error
b : emotionally aware and responsive we are sensible of your problems
c : conscious



Definition of sensible (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that can be sensed

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sensible


sensibleness noun
sensibly \ ˈsen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce sensible (audio) \ adverb

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

Examples of sensible in a Sentence

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Still, much of Biden’s rhetoric can be reasonably understood as a sensible way of doing politics. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Republicans Don’t Care About “Unity”," 27 Jan. 2021 Obviously products are lined on shelves in a sensible, easy-to-find way. Lydia Wang,, "Why Is Everyone Talking About Bodegas Again?," 15 Jan. 2021 Business leaders must call on Congress to pass a stimulus bill and advocate for sensible public health measures. Marin Gjaja, Fortune, "Getting to the COVID-19 finish line: A drama in three acts," 8 Dec. 2020 These could include sensible cost control measures, such as increasing the retirement age and encouraging those who want to continue to work part-time into retirement to do so. CNN, "After the pandemic recovery, we must tackle the national debt," 2 Dec. 2020 But shifts in the environment may be altering how even more sensible investors behave, especially with rates on deposits and money-market funds at remarkable lows. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Small-Investor Surge Shows No Sign of Slowing," 25 Jan. 2021 For hackers, the business model of directly targeting a supply chain is sensible. Eric Tucker, Chron, "Russian hack of US agencies exposed supply chain weaknesses," 25 Jan. 2021 Many cities would balk at the costly notion of house-by-house excavations, preferring to prioritize areas with lead pipes, making BlueConduit’s system of ranking and prioritization more sensible. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "An Algorithm Is Helping a Community Detect Lead Pipes," 14 Jan. 2021 That made the return to reserve all the more sensible. Ira Winderman,, "Goran Dragic now a snug, comfortable Heat fit in reserve, picking up where he left off," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Since late November, tens of thousands of farmers have camped on Delhi’s borders to protest sensible but politically risky new laws that give the private sector a bigger role in agriculture. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "What’s Worse Than 2020 in America?," 28 Dec. 2020 If Britain’s national defense relies on an America that is now stretched and resentful of its burden, is this sensible either? Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "An American Election Spurs British Reflection," 2 Nov. 2020 Only a Trump victory will suitably chasten the many sensible and somewhat highbrow Reagan Republicans who deserted Trump for reasons ranging from outright treachery to tactical misjudgment to mere snobbery. Conrad Black, National Review, "Hell, Yes," 28 Oct. 2020 As Hannah Grose, groundskeeper and de facto head of Bly Manor, English actress T'Nia Miller plays a sensible but sometimes flighty leader who holds together a house staff who've become the only family to the manor's two resident orphans. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "How T'Nia Miller Found Herself at the Center of Bly Manor's Emotional Maze," 22 Oct. 2020 Voters in 2020, more than anything else, want sensible, unifying leadership to rid our country of its present angry polarization. Ted Van Dyk, WSJ, "Can Biden Restrain His Party’s Left?," 22 Oct. 2020 While nobody sensible would label any backcountry travel in Alaska a walk in the park, Katmai’s terrain adds extra challenges—and rewards. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Retracing the explosive history of a remote national park in Alaska," 27 May 2020 In the tradition of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Homer and Marge Simpson, there’s one impulsive, enthusiastic risk-taker (Chip, 45) and one sensible, occasionally exasperated realist (Joanna, 42). Julia Moskin, New York Times, "For Joanna Gaines, Home Is the Heart of a Food and Design Empire," 4 May 2020 Fe Noel’s louche dresses, flowing trousers, and signature billowing sleeves prove that sensible can also be sensual. Cady Lang, Time, "10 Designers You Should Watch at New York Fashion Week," 4 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of sensible


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sensible


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sensible

Time Traveler for sensible

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sensible

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sensible



English Language Learners Definition of sensible

: having or showing good sense or judgment
: designed to be comfortable, useful, etc., rather than stylish


sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensible

1 : showing or containing good sense or judgment He was a sensible dog, and knew what to do when he met strangers.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
2 : designed for a practical purpose rather than for appearance sensible shoes
3 : capable of feeling or perceiving The patient was sensible to pain.

Other Words from sensible

sensibly \ -​blē \ adverb


sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensible

1 : perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding felt a sensible chill
2 : capable of receiving sensory impressions sensible to pain

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sensible

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!