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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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

Inside, exchanges during the meeting reminded how sensitive and raw the conversation remains. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: So far, Del Mar survives summer under horse-racing microscope," 2 Sep. 2019 None worked in politically sensitive jobs and still associated going to the mainland with having fun. Karen Cheung, CNN, "If I protest in Hong Kong and travel to mainland China, will I be able to come home?," 22 Aug. 2019 Politicians feared that chaos could ensue, and some politically sensitive lines could close, if the system went from rigid state monopoly to free-market free-for-all overnight. The Economist, "How rising rail fares and falling punctuality undermine confidence," 15 Aug. 2019 The upheaval has come at a politically sensitive time for Chinese leader Xi Jinping, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which the rulingCommunist Party plans to mark with a military parade in October. Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong riot police, armed with pepper spray and batons, clash with protesters at airport," 14 Aug. 2019 The upheaval has come at a politically sensitive time for Chinese leader Xi Jinping, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which the ruling Communist Party plans to mark with a military parade in October. oregonlive.com, "Hong Kong airport suspends flights for second day as protesters reoccupy terminal," 13 Aug. 2019 Mineral sunscreens tend to be gentler and more natural, therefore, safer for babies and those with sensitive skin. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Your Sunscreen Safe? The Case for Switching to a Mineral Sunscreen," 12 Aug. 2019 Raising worries that China will wield its currency as a weapon in a trade war, Beijing let the Chinese yuan weaken to the politically sensitive level of seven to the U.S. dollar for the first time since February 2008. Joe Mcdonald, Twin Cities, "Lashing back, China lets yuan drop, halts US farm purchases," 5 Aug. 2019 The incident represents a step-up of enforcement by the authorities, who late last year began interfering with Twitter accounts posting message deemed politically sensitive. Echo Huang, Quartz, "A bot tweeting passages from modern China’s most famous writer has been silenced," 24 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

12 Sep 2019

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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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