American English

Definition of sense noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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. Ihad the sense that he was worried about something.
  4. understanding/judgment
  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 humor (= 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).
  6. 4[uncountable] good understanding and judgment; knowledge of what is sensible or practical behavior 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 / sensitive Sensible and sensitive are connected with two different meanings of sense. Sensible refers to your ability to make good judgments: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. Idioms
    knock/talk some sense into somebody
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    to try and persuade someone 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. 1to have a meaning that you can easily understand This sentence doesn't make sense.
    2. 2to be a sensible thing to do It makes sense to buy the most up-to-date version.
    3. 3to 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 sense of occasion
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    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 (old-fashioned)
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    to start behaving as if you are crazy
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sense