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 combinationa 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

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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 The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that the conservancy has continued to allow corn to be harvested, which destroys the sensitive peat soil. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "The delta’s sinking islands," 12 Jan. 2020 The 18-hole, 72-par course was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw of Coore & Crenshaw Inc. as an environmentally sensitive, rugged and natural, links-style championship course. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "PGA Tour says AT&T Byron Nelson tournament will move after 2020," 11 Jan. 2020 So who is this GOP duo that has unabashedly criticized the administration on such a sensitive, high-stakes issue? Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Who are Mike Lee and Rand Paul, the senators slamming the White House's Iran briefing?," 10 Jan. 2020 The first Lunar Eclipse of the year arrives on Friday at 2:21 p.m. EST in sensitive Cancer, opposing thought-ruling Mercury, structured Saturn, and powerful Pluto. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 6 Jan. 2020 Students from China often refrain from discussing sensitive subjects in front of other Chinese students. The Economist, "Chinese students The new red scare on American campuses," 2 Jan. 2020 In my most cynical moments, this feels to me a lot like green-washing — when a corporation tries to appear environmentally sensitive, for example, by sponsoring Earth Day events without addressing how their products impact air or water quality. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: Investing based on social values? Prepare for a letdown," 30 Dec. 2019 The use of armed drones has been somewhat sensitive in France, notably because of civilians killed by U.S. drones in Afghanistan and Somalia. Fox News, "France's first-ever armed drone strike kills 7 Islamic militants in Mali," 24 Dec. 2019 Look for a medium-light power rod and a sensitive, high-carbon blank with fast or extra-fast action that can detect panfish bites in deep water and still deliver effective hooksets. Outdoor Life, "How To Rig Your Ice Fishing Rods And Reels For Any Fish," 20 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for sensitive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sensitive

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sensitive.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensitiveness. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sensitive

sensitive

adjective
How to pronounce sensitive (audio)

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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