from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses.
  • adjective Responsive to external conditions or stimulation; having sensation.
  • adjective Susceptible to slight differences or changes in the environment.
  • adjective Readily altered by the action of an agent.
  • adjective Registering slight differences or changes of condition. Used of an instrument.
  • adjective Easily irritated.
  • adjective Predisposed to inflammation as a result of preexisting allergy or disease.
  • adjective Aware of or careful about the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others.
  • adjective Easily hurt, upset, or offended.
  • adjective Fluctuating or tending to fluctuate, especially in price.
  • adjective Of or relating to secret or classified information.
  • noun A sensitive person.
  • noun One held to be endowed with psychic or occult powers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of, pertaining to, or affecting the senses; depending on the senses.
  • Having sense, sensibility, or feeling; capable of receiving impressions from external objects: often extended, figuratively, to various inanimate objects.
  • Of keen sensibility; keenly susceptible of external influences or impressions; easily and acutely affected or moved by outward circumstances or impressions: as, a sensitive person, or a person of sensitive nature: figuratively extended to inanimate objects.
  • Specifically
  • In entomology, noting parts of the surface of the antennæ: which are peculiarly modified and, it is supposed, subservient to some special sense. These surfaces exhibit an immense number of microscopical pores, covered with a very delicate transparent membrane; they may be generally diffused over the joints or variously arranged in patches, the position of which has been used in the classification of certain families of Coleoptera.
  • Susceptible in a notable degree to hypnotism; easily hypnotized or mesmerized.
  • Noting a condition of feverish liability to fluctuation: said of markets, securities, or commodities.
  • So delicately adjusted as to respond quickly to very slight changes of condition: said of instruments, as a balance.
  • In chem. and photography, readily affected by the action of appropriate agents: as, iodized paper is sensitive to the action of light.
  • Sensible; wise; judicious.
  • Synonyms and Sentient, etc. See sensible.
  • noun Something that feels; a sensorium.
  • noun A sensitive person; specifically, one who is sensitive to mesmeric or hypnotic influences or experiments. See I., 3 .
  • noun the common sense in the Aristotelian use.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having sense of feeling; possessing or exhibiting the capacity of receiving impressions from external objects.
  • adjective 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.
  • adjective (Mech.) Having a capacity of being easily affected or moved.
  • adjective (Chem. & Photog.) Readily affected or changed by certain appropriate agents.
  • adjective rare Serving to affect the sense; sensible.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to sensation; depending on sensation.
  • adjective (Bot.) an American fern (Onoclea sensibilis), the leaves of which, when plucked, show a slight tendency to fold together.
  • adjective (Physics) a gas flame so arranged that under a suitable adjustment of pressure it is exceedingly sensitive to sounds, being caused to roar, flare, or become suddenly shortened or extinguished, by slight sounds of the proper pitch.
  • adjective (Bot.) an annual leguminous herb (Æschynomene hispida), with sensitive foliage.
  • adjective paper prepared for photographic purpose by being rendered sensitive to the effect of light.
  • adjective (Bot.) Any plant showing motions after irritation, as the sensitive brier (Schrankia) of the Southern States, two common American species of Cassia (C. nictitans, and C. Chamæcrista), a kind of sorrel (Oxalis sensitiva), etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having the faculty of sensation; pertaining to the senses.
  • adjective Responsive to stimuli.
  • adjective Of a person, easily offended, upset or hurt.
  • adjective Of an issue, capable of offending, upsetting or hurting.
  • adjective Accurate (instrument)
  • noun One with a paranormal sensitivity to something that most cannot perceive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun someone who serves as an intermediary between the living and the dead
  • adjective able to feel or perceive


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French sensitif, from Medieval Latin sēnsitīvus, from Latin sēnsus, sense; see sense.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French sensitif, from Medieval Latin sensitivus.


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  • But, nonetheless, I'm sure that there are many stupid people who believe that the word sensitive translates into sissy.

    Hullabaloo 2004

  • But, nonetheless, I'm sure that there are many stupid people who believe that the word sensitive translates into sissy.

    Hullabaloo 2004

  • But, nonetheless, I'm sure that there are many stupid people who believe that the word sensitive translates into sissy.

    Hullabaloo 2004

  • Off the site that night, and through the next day, we did what they call sensitive site exploitation, and we did pick up quite a bit of stuff out of the house, the safe house there.

    CNN Transcript Jun 14, 2006 2006

  • We've also organized some units to do this and embedded in other units, for example within some of our Special Operations units and some of our forward-operating units, the ability to do what we call sensitive site exploitation, the ability to go into a place, to examine it in detail with the right knowledge, with the right equipment, related to weapons of mass destruction.

    CNN Transcript Apr 15, 2003 2003

  • They are basically going through what they call sensitive site exploitation.

    CNN Transcript Mar 17, 2002 2002

  • We have them at what we call sensitive locations, the places that you might think somebody might want to do something with, and then we also have them at the entrances and exits to the city, so that we can have checkpoints, and at the airport.

    CNN Transcript Oct 7, 2001 2001

  • Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan on Friday as planned to discuss what he described as sensitive matters.

    ANC Daily News Briefing 1997

  • Strictly speaking, the glands ought to be called irritable, as the term sensitive generally implies consciousness; but no one supposes that the Sensitive-plant is conscious, and as I have found the term convenient, I shall use it without scruple.

    Insectivorous Plants Charles Darwin 1845

  • I probably wouldn't use the word sensitive, but it's certainly something you have to watch the most in terms of where it goes over time.

    unknown title 2011


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