sensual

adjective
sen·​su·​al | \ ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)wəl How to pronounce sensual (audio) , -shəl \

Definition of sensual

1 : relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite : fleshly
3a : devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites
c : deficient in moral, spiritual, or intellectual interests : worldly especially : irreligious

Other Words from sensual

sensuality \ ˌsen(t)-​shə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce sensual (audio) \ noun
sensually \ ˈsen(t)-​sh(ə-​)wə-​lē How to pronounce sensual (audio) , ˈsen-​shə-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for sensual

carnal, fleshly, sensual, animal mean having a relation to the body. carnal may mean only this but more often connotes derogatorily an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature. gave in to carnal desires fleshly is less derogatory than carnal. a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations sensual may apply to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite with absence of the spiritual or intellectual. fleshpots providing sensual delights animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person. led a mindless animal existence

sensuous, sensual, luxurious, voluptuous mean relating to or providing pleasure through gratification of the senses. sensuous implies gratification of the senses for the sake of aesthetic pleasure. the sensuous delights of great music sensual tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the physical appetites as ends in themselves. a life devoted to sensual pleasures luxurious suggests the indulgence of sensuous pleasure inducing bodily ease and languor. a luxurious hotel voluptuous implies more strongly an abandonment especially to sensual pleasure. a voluptuous feast

Examples of sensual in a Sentence

A sharp observer with a pleasing eye for sensual detail, Jaffrey weaves a richly textured story in which she effortlessly mingles quotidian dramas with historic events including the partition of India. — Michelle Green, People, 6 Nov. 2006 And Rousseau, in his Confessions, wrote of the sensual pleasure he found in simple meals of peasant cheeses and breads. — Andrea Lee, Gourmet, May 2004 Certain fragrances apparently heighten sensual experiences. the sensual feel of a velvet shirt against the skin
Recent Examples on the Web For many domestic workers, providing quality care means forging intimate, familial relationships and acquiring professional knowledge that is sensual and personal. Angela Garbes, The Atlantic, 13 May 2022 The track is a tough, sensual slice of electro-pop with a lifted sing-along chorus about wanting to touch, feel you, need you, babe. Katie Bain, Billboard, 13 May 2022 As worn on the Fall 1992 catwalk by supermodels Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni, and Linda Evangelista, the designs were innately sensual. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 25 Feb. 2022 Shapes are sinuous, organic, and sensual, but this table, which is on the edge of Art Nouveau, is both handsome and tough. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 2 Apr. 2022 Both Mugler and Jimmy Choo are forward and sensual, and both worn by strong and confident women. Shelby Ying Hyde, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Feb. 2022 Pompom Paris is elegant yet sensual, polished yet effortless, simple yet alluring. Roxanne Robinson, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 The song is a typical Maxwell outing, woozy and sensual, with the singer’s voice still velvety smooth. Justin Curto, Vulture, 17 Nov. 2021 Try this sensual and visionary take on the classic oud category, both 100% vegan and sustainably sourced. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sensual

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sensual

Middle English, from Late Latin sensualis, from Latin sensus sense

Learn More About sensual

Time Traveler for sensual

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near sensual

sensu

sensual

sensualism

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sensual

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sensual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensual. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for sensual

sensual

adjective
sen·​su·​al | \ ˈsen-shə-wəl How to pronounce sensual (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensual

: relating to the pleasing of the senses

sensual

adjective
sen·​su·​al | \ ˈsench-(ə-)wəl, ˈsen-shəl How to pronounce sensual (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensual

2 : relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite
3 : devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites

More from Merriam-Webster on sensual

Nglish: Translation of sensual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensual for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!