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[sen-shoo-uh s] /ˈsɛn ʃu əs/
perceived by or affecting the senses:
the sensuous qualities of music.
readily affected through the senses:
a sensuous temperament.
of or relating to sensible objects or to the senses.
Origin of sensuous
1630-40; < Latin sēnsu(s) sense + -ous
Related forms
sensuously, adverb
sensuousness, sensuosity
[sen-shoo-os-i-tee] /ˌsɛn ʃuˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
antisensuous, adjective
antisensuously, adverb
antisensuousness, noun
hypersensuous, adjective
hypersensuously, adverb
hypersensuousness, noun
nonsensuous, adjective
nonsensuously, adverb
nonsensuousness, noun
subsensuous, adjective
subsensuously, adverb
subsensuousness, noun
supersensuous, adjective
supersensuously, adverb
supersensuousness, noun
unsensuous, adjective
unsensuously, adverb
unsensuousness, noun
Can be confused
sensual, sensuous (see synonym study at sensual)
1. See sensual. 2. feeling, sensible. 3. sentient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sensuously
  • And yet the drawings themselves were complex and sensuously, almost lusciously beautiful.
  • The route is designed to sensuously curve horizontally and vertically through the natural desert landscape.
  • The music was sensuously ravishing from be ginning to end.
  • They enclose lines sensuously and are enormously useful in describing all kinds of bulging, rolling, bumpy subjects.
  • Up close you can see that the surfaces are slightly crusty, sensuously brushy and subtly multicolored.
British Dictionary definitions for sensuously


aesthetically pleasing to the senses
appreciative of or moved by qualities perceived by the senses
of, relating to, or derived from the senses
Derived Forms
sensuously, adverb
sensuousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: apparently coined by Milton to avoid the unwanted overtones of sensual; not in common use until C19: from Latin sēnsussense + -ous
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 sensuously



1640s, "pertaining to the senses" apparently coined by Milton to recover the original meaning of sensual and avoid the lascivious connotation that the older word had acquired, but by 1870 sensuous, too, had begun down the same path and come to mean "alive to the pleasures of the senses." Rare before Coleridge popularized it "To express in one word all that appertains to the perception, considered as passive and merely recipient ...." (1814). From Latin sensus (see sense (n.)) + -ous. Related: Sensuously; sensuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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