Definitions

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

  • noun The part of the brain that receives and coordinates all the stimuli conveyed to various sensory centers.
  • noun The entire sensory system of the body.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A supposed point in or part of the brain where sensation resides or becomes manifest; the so-called “seat of the soul”; hence, the undetermined part of the nervous system in which molecular activity of certain kinds and certain grades of intensity immediately causes sensation; loosely, the brain, or the brain and spinal cord; especially, the gray matter of these organs, or any nervous ganglion regarded as a center of sensation. Also sensory, sensitory.
  • noun In biology, the whole sensory apparatus of the body, or physical mechanism of sensation, including the skin and entire nervous system as well as the special sense-organs; all the parts, organs, and tissues of the body which are capable of receiving or transmitting impressions from without.

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

  • noun (Physiol.) The seat of sensation; the nervous center or centers to which impressions from the external world must be conveyed before they can be perceived; the place where external impressions are localized, and transformed into sensations, prior to being reflected to other parts of the organism; hence, the whole nervous system, when animated, so far as it is susceptible of common or special sensations.

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

  • noun All the sensory apparatus of an organism
  • noun The central part of a nervous system that receives and coordinates all stimuli

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

  • noun the areas of the brain that process and register incoming sensory information and make possible the conscious awareness of the world

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin sēnsōrium, organ of sensation, from Latin sēnsus, sense; see sense.]

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