Definition of sensuous
- sensuous pleasure
- sensuous verse
The sensuous sounds of soul music created a warm atmosphere.
A gentle, sensuous breeze caressed our faces.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Sensuous and sensual are close in meaning but not identical, and sensuous was actually coined by the poet John Milton so that he wouldn't have to use sensual. Sensuous usually implies pleasing of the senses by art or similar means; great music, for example, can be a source of sensuous delight. Sensual, on the other hand, usually describes gratification of the senses or physical appetites as an end in itself; thus we often think (perhaps unfairly) of wealthy Romans leading lives devoted to sensual pleasure. You can see why the Puritan Milton might have wanted another word.
First Known Use: 1640See Words from the same year
: affecting the senses in a pleasing way : pleasant, attractive, or appealing in a way that produces or suggests feelings of physical or sexual pleasure
What made you want to look up sensuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
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