hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-s(ə-)tiv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio)
: excessively or abnormally sensitive
: abnormally susceptible physiologically to a specific agent (such as a drug or antigen)
hypersensitiveness noun

Example Sentences

She's hypersensitive about her past. People who are hypersensitive to the chemical may have violent reactions even to small amounts.
Recent Examples on the Web Election officials and politicians nationwide were hypersensitive to voting glitches and voter intimidation in the lead-up to Election Day, particularly after widespread, baseless claims of voter fraud in 2020. Dallas News, 8 Nov. 2022 Others, like the rhino beetle’s borns, are hypersensitive and grow huge, out of all proportion to the rest of their bearer’s anatomy. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 27 July 2012 However, the Atlas Pro is 15 grams lighter per binding and more responsive thanks to an ultra-reactive carbon footbed, streamlined toe cap, and more rigid, hypersensitive ankle straps. Drew Zieff, Outside Online, 18 Oct. 2022 Search results are hypersensitive to the searcher’s physical, geographic location. Townsend Belisle, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 In these mice, the PNNs remained intact after the sciatic nerve surgery and, remarkably, the mice did not become hypersensitive to painful stimuli. Quanta Magazine, 28 July 2022 Cervids don’t usually dump much energy into their headgear until more vital physiological boxes have been checked; the structures are hypersensitive to a deer’s diet, stress levels, infection status, and more. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 2 Aug. 2022 Now imagine if instead of suppressing neural transmission at this point, a nerve injury made those neurons hypersensitive. Quanta Magazine, 28 July 2022 Now, those kids are pouring out of campus by the millions, and the most demanding, annoying, and hypersensitive among them go straight to work . Kyle Smith, National Review, 23 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypersensitive was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near hypersensitive

Cite this Entry

“Hypersensitive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersensitive. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-sət-iv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio)
: very sensitive especially to an abnormal degree
hypersensitiveness noun

Medical Definition


hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tive ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-sət-iv, -ˈsen(t)-stiv How to pronounce hypersensitive (audio)
: excessively or abnormally sensitive
: abnormally susceptible physiologically to a specific agent (as a drug or antigen)
hypersensitiveness noun
hypersensitivity noun
plural hypersensitivities

More from Merriam-Webster on hypersensitive

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