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[sen-suh-bil-i-tee] /ˌsɛn səˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural sensibilities.
capacity for sensation or feeling; responsiveness or susceptibility to sensory stimuli.
mental susceptibility or responsiveness; quickness and acuteness of apprehension or feeling.
keen consciousness or appreciation.
sensibilities, emotional capacities.
Sometimes, sensibilities. liability to feel hurt or offended; sensitive feelings.
Often, sensibilities. capacity for intellectual and aesthetic distinctions, feelings, tastes, etc.:
a man of refined sensibilities.
the property, as in plants or instruments, of being readily affected by external influences.
Origin of sensibility
1325-75; Middle English sensibilite < Middle French < Late Latin sēnsibilitās. See sensible, -ity
Related forms
hypersensibility, noun
nonsensibility, noun, plural nonsensibilities.
unsensibility, noun, plural unsensibilities.
1. Sensibility, susceptibility, sensitiveness, sensitivity refer to capacity to respond to or be affected by something. Sensibility is, particularly, capacity to respond to aesthetic and emotional stimuli: the sensibility of the artist. Susceptibility is the state or quality of being impressionable and responsive, especially to emotional stimuli; in the plural it has much the same meaning as sensibility : a person of keen susceptibilities. Sensitiveness is the state or quality of being sensitive, of having a capacity of sensation and of responding to external stimuli: sensitiveness to light. Sensitivity is a special capability of being sensitive to physiological, chemical action or a tendency to be easily affected by the adverse reactions of others: the sensitivity of a nerve; sensitivity to criticism. 2. alertness, awareness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sensibility
  • The difference is not everybody inherits music sensibility.
  • It's a great reflection of the owners' style and sensibility.
  • Despite the changes that took place under each director, there is a strong shared sensibility among the works.
  • The link between the two, moral sensibility and governance seems limited at best.
  • We may twist things sometimes and stray into other territories, but have a pop sensibility.
  • Today, progressive cultural shifts in consumption and sensibility seem more modern than ever.
  • My take is it is mostly more about generational sensibility than substance.
  • Despite properly lurid morbidity, the sensibility is dry and comic.
  • However occasionally, politics overrides military sensibility.
  • There is this emerging sensibility that you would never see on television or in movies.
British Dictionary definitions for sensibility


noun (pl) -ties
the ability to perceive or feel
(often pl) the capacity for responding to emotion, impression, etc
(often pl) the capacity for responding to aesthetic stimuli
mental responsiveness; discernment; awareness
(usually pl) emotional or moral feelings: cruelty offends most people's sensibilities
the condition of a plant of being susceptible to external influences, esp attack by parasites
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sensibility

late 14c., "capability of being perceived by the senses; ability to sense or perceive," from Old French sensibilite, from Late Latin sensibilitatem (nominative sensibilitas), from sensibilis (see sensible). Rarely recorded until the emergence of the meaning "emotional consciousness, capacity for higher feelings or refined emotion" (1751). Related: Sensibilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sensibility in Medicine

sensibility sen·si·bil·i·ty (sěn'sə-bĭl'ĭ-tē)

  1. The ability to perceive stimuli.

  2. Mental or emotional responsiveness toward something, such as the feelings of another.

  3. Receptiveness to impression, whether pleasant or unpleasant; acuteness of feeling.

  4. The quality of being affected by changes in the environment.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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