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[sens-lis] /ˈsɛns lɪs/
destitute or deprived of sensation; unconscious.
lacking mental perception, appreciation, or comprehension.
stupid or foolish, as persons or actions.
nonsensical or meaningless, as words:
This letter is either cryptic or senseless.
Origin of senseless
1550-60; sense + -less
Related forms
senselessly, adverb
senselessness, noun
1. insensate, insensible. 2. unperceiving, undiscerning. 3. silly, idiotic, inane, witless, asinine.
2. sensitive. 3. intelligent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for senselessness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Inani′tion, exhaustion from want of food; Inan′ity, senselessness: worthlessness: any kind of vain frivolity.

  • Tell them of the foulness, of the cruelty, of the senselessness of it all.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary Jerome K. Jerome
  • Simply because the shame and senselessness of it reached the pitch of genius!

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • To say nothing of the inhumanity, the senselessness of duelling revolts me.

  • That you may not suffer for your own senselessness, and may not harm others by your folly.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • It would suit theologians for all men to be babes in this sense, in their senselessness.

    The Hearts of Men H. Fielding
  • It was this senselessness of feeling that first brought the jarring of the truth to him.

  • Once more that indescribable feeling of disgust at life and contempt of the inanity and senselessness of the work of creation.

    The Duel A. I. Kuprin
  • It strikes me as ludicrous—even pathetic in its senselessness.

    The Laughing Cavalier Baroness Orczy
British Dictionary definitions for senselessness


lacking in sense; foolish: a senseless plan
lacking in feeling; unconscious
lacking in perception; stupid
Derived Forms
senselessly, adverb
senselessness, 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 senselessness



1550s, "without sensation," from sense (n.) + -less. Of actions, etc., "devoid of purpose, proceeding from lack of intelligence," it is attested from 1570s. Related: Senselessly; senselessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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