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sensitive

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adjective sen·si·tive \ˈsen(t)-sə-tiv, ˈsen(t)s-təv\

Definition of sensitive

  1. 1 :  sensory 2

  2. 2a :  receptive to sense impressionsb :  capable of being stimulated or excited by external agents (such as light, gravity, or contact) sensitive cells

  3. 3 :  highly responsive or susceptible: such asa (1) :  easily hurt or damaged; especially :  easily hurt emotionally (2) :  delicately aware of the attitudes and feelings of othersb :  excessively or abnormally susceptible :  hypersensitive sensitive to egg proteinc :  readily fluctuating in price or demand sensitive commoditiesd :  capable of indicating minute differences :  delicate sensitive scalese :  readily affected or changed by various agents (such as light or mechanical shock) a photographic emulsion sensitive to red lightf :  highly radiosensitive

  4. 4a :  concerned with highly classified government information or involving discretionary authority over important policy matters sensitive documentsb :  calling for tact, care, or caution in treatment :  touchy a sensitive issue like race relations

  5. 5 :  having or showing concern for a specified matter —usually used in combination a price-sensitive customer environmentally sensitive policies

sensitively

adverb

sensitiveness

noun

Examples of sensitive in a Sentence

  1. He acts like a tough guy, but he's really very sensitive to criticism.

  2. I found him to be a sensitive and caring person.

Recent Examples of sensitive from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sensitive

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

Synonym Discussion of sensitive

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

2

sensitive

noun sen·si·tive

Definition of sensitive

  1. 1 :  a person having occult or psychical abilities

  2. 2 :  a sensitive person

First Known Use of sensitive

1838



SENSITIVE Defined for English Language Learners

sensitive

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adjective

Definition of sensitive for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

sensitive

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adjective sen·si·tive \ˈsen-sə-tiv\

Definition of sensitive for Students

  1. 1 :  easily or strongly affected, impressed, or hurt a sensitive child

  2. 2 :  likely to affect, impress, or hurt a sensitive topic

  3. 3 :  understanding of the feelings of others

  4. 4 :  capable of responding to stimulation sensitive structures of the ear

  5. 5 :  readily affected or changed often in an unpleasant or negative way I have sensitive skin.

sensitively

adverb

Medical Dictionary

sensitive

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adjective sen·si·tive \ˈsen(t)-sət-iv, ˈsen(t)-stiv\

Medical Definition of sensitive

  1. 1:  sensory 2 sensitive nerves

  2. 2a:  receptive to sense impressionsb:  capable of being stimulated or excited by external agents (as light, gravity, or contact) a photographic emulsion sensitive to red light sensitive protoplasm

  3. 3:  highly responsive or susceptible: asa:  easily hurt or damaged sensitive skin; especially :  easily hurt emotionallyb:  excessively or abnormally susceptible :  hypersensitive sensitive to egg proteinc:  capable of indicating minute differences sensitive scalesd:  readily affected or changed by various agents (as light or mechanical shock) a sensitive colloid

sensitiveness

noun


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