Definitions

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

  • adjective Relating to or involving gratification of the senses, especially sexual gratification: synonym: sensuous.
  • adjective Sexually attractive.
  • adjective Given to or preoccupied with gratification of the senses.
  • adjective Relating to or affecting any of the senses or a sense organ; sensory.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to, consisting in, or affecting the senses or bodily organs of perception; relating to the senses or sensation; sensible.
  • Relating to or concerning the body, in distinction from the spirit; not spiritual or intellectual; carnal; fleshly.
  • Specifically, pertaining to or consisting in the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetite: as, sensual pleasures.
  • Given to or characterized by the indulgence of appetite; devoted to the pleasures of sense and appetite; especially, voluptuous; lewd.
  • In philosophy, asserting sensation to be the only source of knowledge; pertaining, relating, or peculiar to sensualism as a philosophical doctrine.
  • Synonyms Sensuous, Sensual, Carnal, Voluptuous. Sensuous has taken the not unfavorable meanings connected with the use of the senses, and sensual the unfavorable ones, implying degradation or grossness; hence we speak of sensuous perception or delight, and of sensual pleasures. Carnal, connected with the flesh, gratifying the animal nature, sometimes is the same as sensual, and sometimes, from its frequent use in the Bible, especially conveys the idea of the sinfulness of the act, character, etc. Voluptuous expresses the disposition to gratify the nicer tastes in the pleasures of sense, and to carry this gratification to softness or an elegant sensuality. A voluptuous beauty is such as to excite this disposition in him who sees it and to stimulate sexual desire.

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

  • adjective Pertaining to, consisting in, or affecting, the sense, or bodily organs of perception; relating to, or concerning, the body, in distinction from the spirit.
  • adjective Hence, not spiritual or intellectual; carnal; fleshly; pertaining to, or consisting in, the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetites; wordly.
  • adjective Devoted to the pleasures of sense and appetite; luxurious; voluptuous; lewd; libidinous.
  • adjective Pertaining or peculiar to the philosophical doctrine of sensualism.

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

  • adjective Inducing pleasurable and/or erotic sensations.
  • adjective not comparable Of or pertaining to the physical senses; sensory.

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

  • adjective marked by the appetites and passions of the body
  • adjective sexually exciting or gratifying

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin sensualis ("endowed with feeling, sensual"), from Latin sensus ("feeling, sense").

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