Synonyms & Antonyms of sensitive

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 able to sense slight impressions or differences
  • a scale that is sensitive to the smallest change in weight

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2 being in a situation where one is likely to meet with harm
  • she's very sensitive to the sun and will burn if she's outside for any amount of time

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3 easily injured without careful handling
  • the sensitive skin of a newborn mouse

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4 of or relating to physical sensation or the senses
  • sensitive data

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5 requiring exceptional skill or caution in performance or handling
  • pointing out to the boss that she's wrong is always a sensitive task

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Synonyms of sensitive (Entry 2 of 2)

as in medium, psychic

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for sensitive

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Frequently Asked Questions About sensitive

How does the adjective sensitive contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of sensitive are exposed, liable, open, prone, subject, and susceptible. While all these words mean "being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse," sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli.

unduly sensitive to criticism

When is exposed a more appropriate choice than sensitive?

The words exposed and sensitive are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening.

exposed to infection

When is it sensible to use liable instead of sensitive?

While the synonyms liable and sensitive are close in meaning, liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation.

liable to get lost

When could open be used to replace sensitive?

The words open and sensitive can be used in similar contexts, but open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence.

a claim open to question

Where would prone be a reasonable alternative to sensitive?

The synonyms prone and sensitive are sometimes interchangeable, but prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something.

prone to delay

When would subject be a good substitute for sensitive?

Although the words subject and sensitive have much in common, subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone.

all reports are subject to review

In what contexts can susceptible take the place of sensitive?

While in some cases nearly identical to sensitive, susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable.

very susceptible to flattery

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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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Cite this Entry

“Sensitive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sensitive

Nglish: Translation of sensitive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensitive for Arabic Speakers


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