Definition of sense noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary




sight/hearing, etc.

1 [countable] one of the five powers (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) that your body uses to get information about the world around youthe five sensesDogs 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 [countable] a feeling about something importantHe 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.


3 [singular] an understanding about something; an ability to judge somethingOne 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/timingAlex doesn't have any dress sense (= does not know which clothes look attractive).4 [uncountable] good understanding and judgment; knowledge of what is sensible or practical behaviorYou 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

normal state of mind

5 senses [plural] a normal state of mind; the ability to think clearlyIf 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.


6 [countable] the meaning that a word or phrase has; a way of understanding somethingThe word “love” is used in different senses by different in its broadest senseHe 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. note at sensible

knock/talk some sense into someone

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?knock some sense intotalk some sense into

make sense

1 to have a meaning that you can easily understandThis sentence doesn't make sense.2 to be a sensible thing to doIt makes sense to buy the most up-to-date version.3 to be easy to understand or explainJohn wasn't making much sense on the phone.Who would send me all these flowers? It makes no sense.make sense

make sense of something

to understand something that is difficult or has no clear meaning
I can't make sense of that painting.make sense of

see sense

to start to be sensible or reasonable
see sense

a sense of occasion

a feeling or understanding that an event is important or special
Candles on the table gave the evening a sense of occasion.a sense of occasion

take leave of your senses

(old-fashioned) to start behaving as if you are crazytake leave of your senses