9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-sen-si-tiv] /ɪnˈsɛn sɪ tɪv/
deficient in human sensibility, acuteness of feeling, or consideration; unfeeling; callous:
an insensitive person.
not physically sensitive:
insensitive skin.
not affected by physical or chemical agencies or influences:
insensitive to light.
not readily responsive or aware:
insensitive to the needs of the peasants.
Origin of insensitive
1600-10; in-3 + sensitive
Related forms
insensitiveness, insensitivity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insensitive
  • Scripts were revised to delete material that might be construed as insensitive.
  • The resulting device is robust and reasonably insensitive to heat.
  • Megan actually has a rare genetic disorder that renders her insensitive to pain.
  • The float is weighted to make it insensitive to high-frequency motion.
  • Please take a moment to think about how insensitive your reverie is.
  • It's not that she's insensitive to people and the planet.
  • The insensitive new owners plan to turn the castle into a modern hotel.
  • First, college administrators are not insensitive to high tuition costs.
  • And their reaction has ranged from slow to staggeringly insensitive.
  • There is huge demand for it, and punters are mostly insensitive to price.
British Dictionary definitions for insensitive


lacking sensitivity; unfeeling
lacking physical sensation
(postpositive) foll by to. not sensitive (to) or affected (by): insensitive to radiation
Derived Forms
insensitively, adverb
insensitiveness, insensitivity, 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 insensitive

c.1600, "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning "without consideration for the feelings of others" attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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