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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sensual

sensuality \ ˌsen(t)-​shə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce sensuality (audio) \ noun
sensually \ ˈsen(t)-​sh(ə-​)wə-​lē How to pronounce sensually (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. a slave 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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

And then there is his fluency of color (flesh ripens in a dark rainbow spectrum) and natural affinity for the sensual line. Christopher Alessandrini, The New York Review of Books, "‘Boys Do It Better’: The Paintings of Louis Fratino," 18 May 2019 This married Philly jazz-bo coupling won’t play to the avant-garde on this Valentine’s, but while Meg’s voice is strong and stirringly sensual (to say nothing of swinging), Victor’s tenor tone is always bracingly theatrical. Philly.com, "Tom Petty and David Bowie tributes, Olympics at the Penn Museum, Valentine's Day Cheese-making and more things to do in Philadelphia, Feb. 9-16," 8 Feb. 2018 To start reaping the benefits of this sensual kissing position, gently suck and nibble on your partner’s neck, traveling from below the ear to the collarbone. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "17 Kissing Positions You Should Try During Your Next Makeout Session," 9 Apr. 2019 People relate to her work in a sensual, spiritual way. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Remembering Cara Croninger, Artwear Jewelry Maker and “Punk to the Core”," 5 Apr. 2019 Meanwhile, another sensual, creative experience, clothing—we’re like eating McDonald’s in clothing. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Batsheva Opens a Pop-Up Dressmaking Heaven in Time for NYFW," 4 Feb. 2019 This is a fragrance that is earthy and sensual, and can be worn at any time. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Angelina Jolie Takes Us Inside Her First International Beauty Campaign in a Decade," 17 Apr. 2017 A decade later, Prada dove into the lingerie drawer one more, resulting in suiting with a sensual touch for ladies who launch, not lunch. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 2019 The sensual urban/electro tune took two years in the making and is the first song that the EDM artist worked on for his Spanish-language album Wut Wut, set to release in September. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday: Best Music Picks of the Week by Wisin, Karol G & More," 13 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sensual

Statistics for sensual

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sensual

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sensual

sensual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sensual

: relating to, devoted to, or producing physical or sexual pleasure

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sensual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sensual

Spanish Central: Translation of sensual

Nglish: Translation of sensual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sensual

What made you want to look up sensual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!