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

Keep your face moisturized with this light and hydrating moisturizer that's suitable for sensitive skin types. Jaimie Potters, Marie Claire, "Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore in Amsterdam," 29 May 2019 Both Zellweger and Garland have the gift and peril of being the kind of vulnerable, sensitive star who seems so close to earth that strangers feel comfortable pelting them with rude questions. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, "What/If Made Renée Zellweger "Uncomfortable" And She Loved It," 24 May 2019 Also note that moisturizers with more water in them tend to also have more preservatives to prevent bacteria from forming than other types of moisturizers (which may be irritating to dry or sensitive skin types). Sara Coughlin, SELF, "How to Find a Moisturizer That Won’t Leave Your Face a Greasy Mess," 15 May 2019 Even though Turkey is a NATO ally, the worry is that sensitive information about America's most advanced fighter could find its way to the Kremlin. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. General: Don’t Sell the F-35 to Turkey If It Buys Russian Missiles," 6 Mar. 2019 Accutane is essentially a huge dose of Vitamin A that is absorbed into your blood, and much like applying a topical retinol, taking Accutane can make your skin very dry and sensitive. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "The $19 Face Cream That Got Me Through Accutane," 14 Nov. 2018 Security has more to do with the methods used to keep information private, like sending sensitive medical documents through unsecured email versus keeping it on a computer that isn’t connected to the internet. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Treating ‘genetic privacy’ like it’s just one thing keeps us from understanding people’s concerns," 31 Oct. 2018 However, some have expressed concern with sending these sensitive documents, The Verge reported. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Twitter Responds to Complaints of Banning Users for Underage Accounts," 25 July 2018 The documents said that Mueller’s team has determined that a person who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 and leaked sensitive DNC documents in the months leading up to the 2016 election is a Russian intelligence officer. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign," 13 July 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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Statistics for sensitive

Last Updated

6 Jun 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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