sensitive

adjective
sen·​si·​tive | \ ˈsen(t)-sə-tiv How to pronounce sensitive (audio) , ˈsen(t)s-təv\

Definition of sensitive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : receptive to sense impressions
b : capable of being stimulated or excited by external agents (such as light, gravity, or contact) sensitive cells
3 : highly responsive or susceptible: such as
a(1) : easily hurt or damaged especially : easily hurt emotionally
(2) : delicately aware of the attitudes and feelings of others
b : excessively or abnormally susceptible : hypersensitive sensitive to egg protein
c : readily fluctuating in price or demand sensitive commodities
d : capable of indicating minute differences : delicate sensitive scales
e : readily affected or changed by various agents (such as light or mechanical shock) a photographic emulsion sensitive to red light
f : highly radiosensitive
4a : concerned with highly classified government information or involving discretionary authority over important policy matters sensitive documents
b : calling for tact, care, or caution in treatment : touchy a sensitive issue like race relations
5 : having or showing concern for a specified matter usually used in combination a price-sensitive customerenvironmentally sensitive policies

sensitive

noun

Definition of sensitive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person having occult or psychical abilities
2 : a sensitive person

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Other Words from sensitive

Adjective

sensitively adverb
sensitiveness noun

Synonyms for sensitive

Synonyms: Adjective

acute, delicate, fine, keen, perceptive, quick, sharp

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Choose the Right Synonym for sensitive

Adjective

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation. liable to get lost open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence. a claim open to question exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening. exposed to infection subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone. all reports are subject to review prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something. prone to delay susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable. very susceptible to flattery sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli. unduly sensitive to criticism

Examples of sensitive in a Sentence

Adjective

He acts like a tough guy, but he's really very sensitive to criticism. I found him to be a sensitive and caring person.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Your therapist isn’t sensitive to your differences in identity. Kimberly Truong, SELF, "Here’s Exactly How to Break Up With Your Therapist," 9 Mar. 2019 The yield on the two-year Treasury note, which is highly sensitive to changes in monetary policy, has remained stuck at around 2.50%, while the 10-year yield has mostly drifted between 2.60% and 2.70%. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Treasury Bond Prices Rise, With Trading in Narrow Range," 22 Feb. 2019 Every temperature profile, also known as a sounding, is sensitive to temperature and water vapor. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Polar Vortex Looks Absolutely Chilling From Space," 1 Feb. 2019 The leadership for our production tried very hard to be sensitive to Asian culture and minimize anything that might cause concern. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Young Victorian Theatre Co. approaches 'Mikado' mindful of controversy," 6 July 2018 Tonight: Be sensitive to others to avoid any disputes. BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 29 June 2018 However, since the eye area can be more sensitive than the rest of the face, approach a regimen of either of the vitamins slowly to avoid irritation. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Handle Crow's Feet," 15 Feb. 2019 Millions of Wi-Fi access points sold by Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba have two critical vulnerabilities being patched that could allow hackers to run malware inside the sensitive networks that use the gear. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bluetooth bugs bite millions of Wi-Fi APs from Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba," 1 Nov. 2018 Your nipples will also become more sensitive than normal. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "14 Things No One Tells You About Losing Your Virginity," 22 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Quiet Zone is a place where mystic scientists, gun-loving locals, and electromagnetic hyper-sensitives all live amongst one another, and Drake Equation chronicles their lives in rich detail. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "Want to Hunt Aliens? Go to West Virginia's Low-Tech 'Quiet Zone'," 3 May 2018 Growing sensitives over language extend to politics as well. Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Amid anniversary protests, fears that Hong Kong is 'just another mainland city'," 3 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensitive.' 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 sensitive

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for sensitive

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin sensitivus, probably alteration of sensativus, from sensatus sensate

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sensitive

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

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More Definitions for sensitive

sensitive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sensitive

: easily upset by the things that people think or say about you
: likely to cause people to become upset
: aware of and understanding the feelings of other people

sensitive

adjective
sen·​si·​tive | \ ˈsen-sə-tiv How to pronounce sensitive (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensitive

1 : easily or strongly affected, impressed, or hurt a sensitive child
2 : likely to affect, impress, or hurt a sensitive topic
3 : understanding of the feelings of others
4 : capable of responding to stimulation sensitive structures of the ear
5 : readily affected or changed often in an unpleasant or negative way I have sensitive skin.

Other Words from sensitive

sensitively adverb

sensitive

adjective
sen·​si·​tive | \ ˈsen(t)-sət-iv, ˈsen(t)-stiv How to pronounce sensitive (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensitive

1 : sensory sense 2 sensitive nerves
2a : receptive to sense impressions
b : capable of being stimulated or excited by external agents (as light, gravity, or contact) a photographic emulsion sensitive to red light sensitive protoplasm
3 : highly responsive or susceptible: as
a : easily hurt or damaged sensitive skin especially : easily hurt emotionally
b : excessively or abnormally susceptible : hypersensitive sensitive to egg protein
c : capable of indicating minute differences sensitive scales
d : readily affected or changed by various agents (as light or mechanical shock) a sensitive colloid

Other Words from sensitive

sensitiveness noun

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Comments on sensitive

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