What does sensitive mean?

Definitions for sensitive
ˈsɛn sɪ tɪvsen·si·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sensitive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. medium, spiritualist, sensitiveadjective

    someone who serves as an intermediary between the living and the dead

    "he consulted several mediums"

  2. sensitiveadjective

    responsive to physical stimuli

    "a mimosa's leaves are sensitive to touch"; "a sensitive voltmeter"; "sensitive skin"; "sensitive to light"

  3. sensitiveadjective

    being susceptible to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others

    "sensitive to the local community and its needs"

  4. sensible, sensitiveadjective

    able to feel or perceive

    "even amoeba are sensible creatures"; "the more sensible parts of the skin"

  5. sensitive, sore, raw, tenderadjective


    "the tender spot on his jaw"

  6. sensitiveadjective

    of or pertaining to classified information or matters affecting national security


  1. sensitivenoun

    One with a paranormal sensitivity to something that most cannot perceive.

  2. sensitiveadjective

    Having the faculty of sensation; pertaining to the senses.

  3. sensitiveadjective

    Responsive to stimuli.

  4. sensitiveadjective

    Of a person, easily offended, upset or hurt.

    My friend Max is very sensitive; he cried today because of the bad news.

  5. sensitiveadjective

    Of an issue, capable of offending, upsetting or hurting.

    Religion is often a sensitive topic of discussion and should be avoided when dealing with foreign business associates.

  6. sensitiveadjective

    Accurate (instrument)

  7. Etymology: From sensitif, from sensitivus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sensitiveadjective

    Having sense or perception, but not reason.

    Etymology: sensitif, French.

    The sensitive faculty may have a sensitive love of some sensitive objects, which though moderated so as not to fall into sin; yet, through the nature of man’s sense, may express itself more sensitively towards that inferior object than towards God: this is a piece of human frailty. Henry Hammond.

    All the actions of the sensitive appetite are in painting called passions, because the soul is agitated by them, and because the body suffers and is sensibly altered. Dryden.

    Bodies are such as are endued with a vegetative soul, as plants; a sensitive soul, as animals; or a rational soul, as the body of man. John Ray.


  1. sensitive

    Sensitive generally refers to the capacity to respond or detect changes in one's physical or emotional environment. It can relate to being acutely aware of or easily affected by physical sensations, emotions, or the feelings of others. Often, it applies to someone who can quickly perceive or feel, even minor changes or subtle differences. This term can also refer to a topic or issue requiring discretion or tact due to its potential to evoke strong reactions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sensitiveadjective

    having sense of feeling; possessing or exhibiting the capacity of receiving impressions from external objects; as, a sensitive soul

  2. Sensitiveadjective

    having quick and acute sensibility, either to the action of external objects, or to impressions upon the mind and feelings; highly susceptible; easily and acutely affected

  3. Sensitiveadjective

    having a capacity of being easily affected or moved; as, a sensitive thermometer; sensitive scales

  4. Sensitiveadjective

    readily affected or changed by certain appropriate agents; as, silver chloride or bromide, when in contact with certain organic substances, is extremely sensitive to actinic rays

  5. Sensitiveadjective

    serving to affect the sense; sensible

  6. Sensitiveadjective

    of or pertaining to sensation; depending on sensation; as, sensitive motions; sensitive muscular motions excited by irritation

  7. Etymology: [F. sensitif. See Sense.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. sensitive

    Requiring special protection from disclosure that could cause embarrassment, compromise, or threat to the security of the sponsoring power. May be applied to an agency, installation, person, position, document, material, or activity.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sensitive' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2785

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sensitive' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3992

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sensitive' in Adjectives Frequency: #372

How to pronounce sensitive?

How to say sensitive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sensitive in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sensitive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of sensitive in a Sentence

  1. Mayada Elsabbagh:

    The idea is that in autism, very subtle, atypical behaviors of the infant may cause them to be less sensitive and attentive to those social signals from their mothers, in turn, mothers are not able to maintain synchrony in the interaction.

  2. Rob Goldstone:

    I could also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

  3. Chi Chi Wu:

    Providers are a bit more sensitive to not losing you as a customer and maintaining their reputations.

  4. John Kerry:

    We want to find the most constructive way of doing something that therefore will not have unintended consequences, that also stems the violence, it's a particular sensitive moment because we understand the frustrations of Palestinians.

  5. Carrie Lam:

    This has proven to be very unwise given the circumstances, and this huge degree of fear and anxiety amongst people of Hong Kong vis-à-vis the mainland of China, which we were not sensitive enough to feel and grasp.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sensitive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for sensitive »


Find a translation for the sensitive definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"sensitive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sensitive>.

Discuss these sensitive definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for sensitive? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. summon
    • B. affront
    • C. cleave
    • D. abide

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for sensitive: