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[in-sen-suh-buh l] /ɪnˈsɛn sə bəl/
incapable of feeling or perceiving; deprived of sensation; unconscious, as a person after a violent blow.
without or not subject to a particular feeling or sensation:
insensible to shame; insensible to the cold.
unaware; unconscious; inappreciative:
We are not insensible of your kindness.
not perceptible by the senses; imperceptible:
insensible transitions.
unresponsive in feeling.
not susceptible of emotion or passion; void of any feeling.
not endowed with feeling or sensation, as matter; inanimate.
Origin of insensible
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin insēnsibilis. See in-3, sensible
Related forms
insensibly, adverb
insensibility, noun
5, 6. apathetic, unfeeling, indifferent, cool; dull, passionless, emotionless, torpid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insensibly
Historical Examples
  • insensibly the sight of that ever-rolling flood must have deeply affected them.

    The Heart of Nature Francis Younghusband
  • From desiring the farm, insensibly Crane drifted into coveting the mare.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Most persons in the constant habit of taking snuff, are led on insensibly, until they consume enormous quantities.

  • Marmaduke insensibly relapsed into the language of the Friends as he grew warm.

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • But diversion beguiles us and leads us insensibly onward to death.

  • insensibly he had grown more and more interested in Jim and attached to him.

    The Calico Cat Charles Miner Thompson
  • insensibly relieved by speech, his pain gradually merged into quiet acceptance, if not resignation.

    Flower of the Dusk Myrtle Reed
  • Yet as they gazed upon the new star, insensibly they became comforted.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • insensibly, as he looked round, Midwinter's thoughts reverted to the comrade who had shared with him the adventure of the night.

    Armadale Wilkie Collins
  • insensibly and inaudibly my soul speaks to its own, and prepares it even now.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for insensibly


lacking sensation or consciousness
foll by of or to. unaware (of) or indifferent (to): insensible to suffering
thoughtless or callous
a less common word for imperceptible
Derived Forms
insensibility, insensibleness, noun
insensibly, adverb
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 insensibly

early 15c.; see insensible + -ly (2).



c.1400, "lacking the power to feel with the senses," from Latin insensibilis "that cannot be felt," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensibilis (see sensible). Also sometimes in Middle English "incapable of being felt or perceived by the senses" (early 15c.). Meaning "unconscious" is attested from early 15c. See insensate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insensibly in Medicine

insensible in·sen·si·ble (ĭn-sěn'sə-bəl)

  1. Having lost consciousness, especially temporarily; unconscious.

  2. Lacking physical sensation or the power to react, as to pain or cold; numb.

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