endowed with sensation; having perception through the senses.
readily or excessively affected by external agencies or influences.
having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the feelings of others.
easily pained, annoyed, etc.
pertaining to or connected with the senses or sensation.
Physiology. having a low threshold of sensation or feeling.
responding to stimuli, as leaves that move when touched.
highly responsive to certain agents, as photographic plates, films, or paper.
affected or likely to be affected by a specified stimulus (used in combination): price-sensitive markets.
involving work, duties, or information of a highly secret or delicate nature, especially in government: a sensitive position in the State Department.
requiring tact or caution; delicate; touchy: a sensitive topic.
constructed to indicate, measure, or be affected by small amounts or changes, as a balance or thermometer.
Radio. easily affected by external influences, especially by radio waves.
a person who is sensitive.
a person with psychic powers; medium.

1350–1400; < Medieval Latin sēnsitīvus, irregular formation on Latin sēns-, past participle stem of sentīre to sense (see -ive); replacing Middle English sensitif(e) < Middle French sensitif, sensitive < Medieval Latin, as above

sensitively, adverb
nonsensitive, adjective
nonsensitively, adverb
nonsensitiveness, noun
ultrasensitive, adjective
ultrasensitively, adverb
unsensitive, adjective
unsensitively, adverb
unsensitiveness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To ultra-sensitive
World English Dictionary
sensitive (ˈsɛnsɪtɪv)
1.  having the power of sensation
2.  responsive to or aware of feelings, moods, reactions, etc
3.  easily irritated; delicate: sensitive skin
4.  affected by external conditions or stimuli
5.  easily offended
6.  of or relating to the senses or the power of sensation
7.  capable of registering small differences or changes in amounts, quality, etc: a sensitive instrument
8.  photog having a high sensitivity: a sensitive emulsion
9.  connected with matters affecting national security, esp through access to classified information
10.  (of a stock market or prices) quickly responsive to external influences and thus fluctuating or tending to fluctuate
[C14: from Medieval Latin sēnsitīvus, from Latin sentīre to feel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1400, "having the function of sensation," from M.Fr. sensitif (13c.), from M.L. sensitivus "capable of sensation," from L. sensus, pp. of sentire "feel perceive" (see sense). Meaning "easily affected" (with ref. to mental feelings) first recorded 1816; meaning "having intense
physical sensation" is from 1849. Original meaning is preserved in sensitive plant (1633). Meaning "involving national security" is recorded from 1953. Sensitivity training is first attested 1954. Sensitize first recorded 1856, originally in photography; of persons from 1880.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sensitive sen·si·tive (sěn'sĭ-tĭv)

  1. Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses.

  2. Responsive to a stimulus.

  3. Susceptible to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others.

  4. Easily irritated or inflamed, especially due to previous exposure to an antigen.

  5. Relating to, or characterizing a sensitized antigen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature