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

Still, there are few places New Yorkers are more sensitive and territorial about than the Great Lawn. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "$399 for a Festival in Central Park? The Great Lawn Goes Capitalist," 13 July 2019 Vic becomes more sensitive, while Stu embraces his own power. Katie Walsh, chicagotribune.com, "‘Stuber’ review: Skip this ride starring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista," 11 July 2019 Stu is sensitive and nerdy, and desperate for his best friend (Betty Gilpin) to take him seriously as a romantic partner. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Buddy comedy ‘Stuber’ runs on fumes," 11 July 2019 Vic becomes more sensitive, while Stu embraces his own power. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "Billed an action comedy, ‘Stuber’ is more like a cinematic car wreck," 11 July 2019 Audiences there have become increasingly sensitive to, and critical of, Hollywood productions whitewashing Asian storylines, and using Asian characters to deliver Western values. Echo Huang, Quartzy, "Disney’s “Mulan” is not the feminist Mulan Chinese girls recognize," 10 July 2019 In response, between January and June the government changed some of the more sensitive parts of the plan. The Economist, "Costly climate measures are hard to sell, but the Netherlands has a plan," 9 July 2019 Due to this risk for irritation, Dr. Friedman suggests that people with very dry or sensitive skin may want to avoid toners altogether. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "What’s the Actual Deal With Skin Toners and Essences?," 9 July 2019 The judge acknowledged that the allegations were sensitive and said prosecutors and Hunter’s team could decide how to describe the relationships. Fox News, "Duncan Hunter's corruption trial can detail alleged extramarital affairs, judge rules," 2 July 2019

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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Statistics for sensitive

Last Updated

18 Jul 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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