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[hahy-per-sen-si-tiv] /ˌhaɪ pərˈsɛn sɪ tɪv/
excessively sensitive:
to be hypersensitive to criticism.
allergic to a substance to which persons do not normally react.
Origin of hypersensitive
1870-75; hyper- + sensitive
Related forms
hypersensitiveness, hypersensitivity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hypersensitivity
  • Gynecomastia can cause physical issues, including painful hypersensitivity, but it is generally harmless.
  • Paramount's hypersensitivity would seem to raise flags that didn't need to be saluted.
  • Some of my students developed a fluoride hypersensitivity from eating toothpaste when growing up.
  • The council's decisions reflect a faintly alarming mix of deep conservatism and hypersensitivity.
  • hypersensitivity and aggression can accompany the disorder.
  • Partners may feel snubbed by your evasiveness if they do not understand your hypersensitivity to hustle and bustle.
  • It is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to a medication.
British Dictionary definitions for hypersensitivity


having unduly vulnerable feelings
abnormally sensitive to an allergen, a drug, or other agent
Derived Forms
hypersensitiveness, hypersensitivity, noun
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 hypersensitivity



1827, a hybrid from hyper- + sensitive. Related: Hypersensitivity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypersensitivity in Medicine

hypersensitive hy·per·sen·si·tive (hī'pər-sěn'sĭ-tĭv)
Responding excessively to the stimulus of a foreign agent, such as an allergen; abnormally sensitive.

hy'per·sen'si·tive·ness or hy'per·sen'si·tiv'i·ty (-tĭv'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hypersensitivity in Culture

hypersensitivity definition

An excessive or abnormal sensitivity to a substance. A person who is hypersensitive to a certain drug will often suffer a severe allergic reaction (see allergy) if given the drug.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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