Definition of sense noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sens//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sens//
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    sight/hearing, etc.
  1. 1  [countable] one of the five powers (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) that your body uses to get information about the world around you the five senses Dogs have a keen (= strong) sense of smell. the sense organs (= eyes, ears, nose, etc.) I could hardly believe the evidence of my own senses (= what I could see, hear, etc.). The mixture of sights, smells and sounds around her made her senses reel. see also sixth sense
  2. feeling
  3. 2  [countable] a feeling about something important He felt an overwhelming sense of loss. a strong sense of purpose/identity/duty, etc. Helmets can give cyclists a false sense of security. I had the sense that he was worried about something.
  4. understanding/judgement
  5. 3  [singular] an understanding about something; an ability to judge something One of the most important things in a partner is a sense of humour (= the ability to find things funny or make people laugh). He has a very good sense of direction (= finds the way to a place easily). She has lost all sense of direction in her life. Always try to keep a sense of proportion (= of the relative importance of different things). a sense of rhythm/timing Alex doesn't have any dress sense (= does not know which clothes look attractive). see also road sense
  6. 4  [uncountable] good understanding and judgement; knowledge of what is sensible or practical behaviour You should have the sense to take advice when it is offered. There's no sense in (= it is not sensible) worrying about it now. Can't you talk sense (= say something sensible)? There's a lot of sense in what Mary says. see also common sense, good sense
  7. normal state of mind
  8. 5senses [plural] a normal state of mind; the ability to think clearly If she threatens to leave, it should bring him to his senses. He waited for Dora to come to her senses and return. (old-fashioned) Are you out of your senses? You'll be killed! (old-fashioned) Why does she want to marry him? She must have taken leave of her senses.
  9. meaning
  10. 6  [countable] the meaning that a word or phrase has; a way of understanding something The word ‘love’ is used in different senses by different people. education in its broadest sense He was a true friend, in every sense of the word (= in every possible way). In a sense (= in one way) it doesn't matter any more. In some senses (= in one or more ways) the criticisms were justified. The medical care was excellent, in a technical sense. (formal) In no sense can the issue be said to be resolved. There is a sense in which we are all to blame for the tragedy. Which Word?sensible / sensitiveSensible and sensitive are connected with two different meanings of sense. Sensible refers to your ability to make good judgements:She gave me some very sensible advice. It wasn’t very sensible to go out on your own so late at night. Sensitive refers to how easily you react to things and how much you are aware of things or other people:a soap for sensitive skin This movie may upset a sensitive child.
  11. Word Origin late Middle English (as a noun in the sense ‘meaning’): from Latin sensus ‘faculty of feeling, thought, meaning’, from sentire ‘feel’. The verb dates from the mid 16th cent.Extra examples Art should appeal to the senses rather than the intellect. Clubs try to create a sense of community. Common sense tells me I should get more sleep. Family-friendly policies make good business sense. Have you taken leave of your senses? He and I were no longer friends in any meaningful sense. He at least had the sense to call the police. He felt a deep sense of relief after the phone call. He has a sixth sense when it comes to fashion. He has an acute sense of smell. He has no dress sense. He lacked a clear sense of direction. He seems to have lost his sense of reality. Her senses reeled as she fought for consciousness. I am not writing poetry in the traditional sense. I don’t have any friends in the usual sense of the word. I experienced a new sense of freedom. I got the sense that she wasn’t very pleased to see us. I have absolutely no fashion sense. I tried to make him see sense, but he just wouldn’t listen. I wish my daughter would learn some sense. I’m going to try and knock some sense into him. If you can’t talk sense, I’m leaving! If you had an ounce of sense, you’d never have agreed to help him. In a certain sense, justice was done. In a sense, she’s right. In a very real sense, post-war repression was the continuation of the war. It all makes perfect sense. It makes little sense to discuss this now. Many felt a renewed sense of purpose in the nation’s war effort. Meg is incredibly intelligent but she lacks common sense. No one in their right senses would give him the job! Patti had a nagging sense of foreboding. Raccoons have a highly developed sense of touch. Readers gain a real sense of what life was like in the camp. She had a great sense of style. She lost her sense of hearing early in life. That sentence doesn’t make sense. That word has three senses. The conviction may bring a sense of closure. The music conveyed a sense of loss. The novel is about education in its widest sense. The public has been lulled into a false sense of security. There’s a lot of sense in what he’s saying. There’s no sense in going home before the concert. These results seem to make intuitive sense. These teachings do not constitute a religion in the conventional sense. They feel a pervasive sense of loss and longing. This is a tragedy in the fullest sense of the word. This paragraph doesn’t make sense. We felt a profound sense of alienation from Western culture. We have a shared sense of community. We’ll try and talk a little sense into her. When she came to, her senses told her she was lying on a beach. a good sense of direction/​rhythm/​timing a natural sense of justice a palpable sense of danger a vague sense of unease Always try to keep a sense of proportion. Babies seem to have an innate sense of rhythm. Doesn’t she have any sense of guilt about what she did? Ed doesn’t have any dress sense at all! He was a true friend, in every sense of the word. He was respected for his humour and his good sense. Helmets can give cyclists a false sense of security. How could you even think of doing such a thing? Have some sense! I developed a certain road sense during my years as a cyclist. I wish you’d talk sense. I’ve got a hopeless sense of direction. In a sense it doesn’t matter any more. In no sense can the issue be said to be resolved. In some senses the criticisms were justified. One of the most important things in a partner is a sense of humour. She always had a strong sense of personal responsibility. Some people have more money than sense. The word ‘love’ is used in different senses by different people. There’s no sense in worrying about it now. This was education in its broadest sense. You should have the sense to take advice when it’s offered.Idioms
    knock/talk some sense into somebody
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    to try and persuade somebody to stop behaving in a stupid way, sometimes using rough or violent methods Try and talk some sense into her before she makes the wrong decision. Where would I be without you to knock some sense into my head?
    1. 1  to have a meaning that you can easily understand This sentence doesn't make sense.
    2. 2  to be a sensible thing to do It makes sense to buy the most up-to-date version. There are strict medicals for pilots, which makes good sense.
    3. 3  to be easy to understand or explain John wasn't making much sense on the phone. Who would send me all these flowers? It makes no sense.
    make sense of something
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    to understand something that is difficult or has no clear meaning I can’t make sense of that painting.
    to start to be sensible or reasonable a feeling or understanding that an event is important or special Candles on the table gave the evening a sense of occasion.
    take leave of your senses
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    (old-fashioned) to start behaving as if you are crazy See related entries: Describing strange traits
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sense