- 1 aware of and able to understand other people and their feelings a sensitive and caring man sensitive to something She is very sensitive to other people's feelings. opposite insensitive See related entries: Job skills and personal qualities to art/music/literature
- 2 able to understand art, music and literature and to express yourself through them an actor’s sensitive reading of the poem a sensitive portrait easily upset
- 3 easily offended or upset You're far too sensitive. sensitive about something He's very sensitive about his weight. sensitive to something She's very sensitive to criticism. opposite insensitive information/subject
- 4 that you have to treat with great care because it may offend people or make them angry or embarrassed Health care is a politically sensitive issue. That's a sensitive area. to cold/light/food, etc.
- 5 reacting quickly or more than usual to something sensitive areas of the body sensitive to something My teeth are very sensitive to cold food. The eyes of some fish are acutely sensitive to light. opposite insensitive see also touch-sensitive 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. to small changes
- 6sensitive (to something) able to measure very small changes a sensitive instrument The eyes can be a sensitive indicator of health. (figurative) The Stock Exchange is very sensitive to political change. opposite insensitive Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘sensory’): from Old French sensitif, -ive or medieval Latin sensitivus, formed irregularly from Latin sentire
to people’s feelings