sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Definition of sensible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason : rational, reasonable sensible people made a sensible answer
2 : designed for practical ends (such as comfort) rather than for appearance sensible shoes
3 : of a kind to be felt or perceived: such as
a : perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding felt a sensible chill her distress was sensible from her manner
b : perceptible as real or material : substantial the sensible world in which we live
c archaic : perceptibly large : considerable
4a : capable of receiving sensory impressions sensible to pain
b : receptive to external influences : sensitive the most sensible reaches of the spirit
5a : perceiving through the senses or mind : cognizant sensible of the increasing heat also : convinced by perceived evidence : satisfied sensible of my error
b : emotionally aware and responsive we are sensible of your problems
c : conscious



Definition of sensible (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that can be sensed

Other Words from sensible


sensibleness noun
sensibly \ ˈsen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce sensible (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for sensible


material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping. material values physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary. the physical benefits of exercise corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force. artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction. scientists concerned with the phenomenal world sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses. the earth's rotation is not sensible to us objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it. no objective evidence of damage

perceptible, sensible, palpable, tangible, appreciable, ponderable mean apprehensible as real or existent. perceptible applies to what can be discerned by the senses often to a minimal extent. a perceptible difference in sound to a careful listener sensible applies to whatever is clearly apprehended through the senses or impresses itself strongly on the mind. an abrupt, sensible drop in temperature palpable applies either to what has physical substance or to what is obvious and unmistakable. the tension in the air was almost palpable tangible suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally. no tangible evidence of UFOs appreciable applies to what is distinctly discernible by the senses or definitely measurable. an appreciable increase in income ponderable suggests having definitely measurable weight or importance. exerted a ponderable influence on world events

aware, cognizant, conscious, sensible, alive, awake mean having knowledge of something. aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences. aware of changes in climate cognizant implies having special or certain knowledge as from firsthand sources. not fully cognizant of the facts conscious implies that one is focusing one's attention on something or is even preoccupied by it. conscious that my heart was pounding sensible implies direct or intuitive perceiving especially of intangibles or of emotional states or qualities. sensible of a teacher's influence alive adds to sensible the implication of acute sensitivity to something. alive to the thrill of danger awake implies that one has become alive to something and is on the alert. a country always awake to the threat of invasion

wise, sage, sapient, judicious, prudent, sensible, sane mean having or showing sound judgment. wise suggests great understanding of people and of situations and unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them. wise beyond his tender years sage suggests wide experience, great learning, and wisdom. the sage advice of my father sapient suggests great sagacity and discernment. the sapient musings of an old philosopher judicious stresses a capacity for reaching wise decisions or just conclusions. judicious parents using kindness and discipline in equal measure prudent suggests the exercise of restraint guided by sound practical wisdom and discretion. a prudent decision to wait out the storm sensible applies to action guided and restrained by good sense and rationality. a sensible woman who was not fooled by flattery sane stresses mental soundness, rationality, and levelheadedness. remained sane even in times of crises

Examples of sensible in a Sentence

Adjective My teacher gave me some sensible advice. She was sensible enough to stop driving when she got too tired. She wore a sensible coat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective People keep their distance – in a way that seems sensible rather than hostile. Christine Ro, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Adding Inhumans to the list seems sensible even if there are no immediate plans to use these heroes in MCU stories. Chris Smith, BGR, 29 Dec. 2021 The inner workings of athletic department finances aside, there is COVID-19 to consider, which makes going contactless even more sensible. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Aug. 2021 The same man who represented the more sensible parts of America during the Trump presidency is now personifying the country’s worst traits, and on the global stage, no less. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2021 But the more sensible reading of New Jersey’s dismal tax numbers would be to recognize that restoring the SALT deduction is only a Band-Aid—and mainly helps the affluent. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 24 May 2021 The more sensible no votes were cast by commissioners LaTrisha Vetaw, Steffanie Musich, Meg Forney and Kale Severson. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021 Ostensibly, more sensible Republican legislators could then embrace the cover of these new legislators rather than cower against the dark clouds of the current ones. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, 25 Apr. 2021 That formula seems all the more sensible in light of the fact that, unlike other sectors and industries, consumers aren’t driving significant changes in life insurance. Yoav Shaham, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those settling in America in the 17th century thought idleness was sinful, and a six-day workweek sensible. New York Times, 24 Dec. 2021 The final text adopted by the two chambers of Congress incorporates most of Gillibrand’s ideas for a Pentagon UFO office, which range from the sensible to the fantastical. Jason Colavito, The New Republic, 14 Dec. 2021 And there may be larger market forces at work that make a single-source contractor for HLS sensible. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 Is the Lamborghini Huracán paddle-shift-into-gear sensible? Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 27 July 2021 But if the jury is still out, things would need to change on several fronts in order to make retaining Locadia sensible and feasible. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 27 May 2021 This decision, while sensible given the popular stigma surrounding psychedelics, may also increase the business challenges facing MindMed and Compass. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 18 Feb. 2021 Since late November, tens of thousands of farmers have camped on Delhi’s borders to protest sensible but politically risky new laws that give the private sector a bigger role in agriculture. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, 28 Dec. 2020 If Britain’s national defense relies on an America that is now stretched and resentful of its burden, is this sensible either? Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 2 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of sensible


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sensible


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sensibilis, from sensus, past participle of sentire to feel

Learn More About sensible

Time Traveler for sensible

Time Traveler

The first known use of sensible was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sensible



sensible heat

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sensible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for sensible



English Language Learners Definition of sensible

: having or showing good sense or judgment : reasonable
: designed to be comfortable, useful, etc., rather than stylish


sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Kids Definition of sensible

1 : showing or containing good sense or judgment He was a sensible dog, and knew what to do when he met strangers.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
2 : designed for a practical purpose rather than for appearance sensible shoes
3 : capable of feeling or perceiving The patient was sensible to pain.

Other Words from sensible

sensibly \ -​blē \ adverb


sen·​si·​ble | \ ˈsen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce sensible (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensible

1 : perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding felt a sensible chill
2 : capable of receiving sensory impressions sensible to pain

More from Merriam-Webster on sensible

Nglish: Translation of sensible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sensible for Arabic Speakers


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