Synonym Chooser

How is the word sensual different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of sensual are animal, carnal, and fleshly. While all these words mean "having a relation to the body," 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

When could animal be used to replace sensual?

Although the words animal and sensual have much in common, animal stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person.

led a mindless animal existence

When might carnal be a better fit than sensual?

In some situations, the words carnal and sensual are roughly equivalent. However, 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

How are the words fleshly and carnal related as synonyms of sensual?

Fleshly is less derogatory than carnal.

a saint who had experienced fleshly temptations

Thesaurus Entries Near sensual

Cite this Entry

“Sensual.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sensual

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