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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But their work represented an incomplete commitment to the new sensibility.
▪ Efforts were made to anticipate religious sensibilities.
▪ Local religious sensibilities must also be observed.
▪ But these ideas were equally powerfully present in reformers of more obvious religious sensibility.
▪ Like all artistes, he is a sensitive man and you never offend his sensibilities.
▪ Politicians have perceived little gain in granting petitions for something that offends the sensibilities of a significant number of the heterosexual majority.
▪ They couldn't all just reject facts because they offended their sensibilities.
▪ Even the mayonnaise has no egg in it, so as not to offend vegan sensibilities.
▪ Very few people have the refined sensibility needed to appreciate these paintings.
▪ But the anti-army writers also showed a need to appeal to the sensibilities of their Tory allies in Parliament.
▪ Correspondence is, for me, a luxury which stirs my sensibilities, especially if it be with an old friend.
▪ From the first moment we spoke I knew you were a girl with great sensibility, and I admire you very much.
▪ His secular, rationalist sensibilities created an ideal of liberalism based on the individual pursuit of self-interest.
▪ The important question is not how popular cultural sensibilities shift but why they do.
▪ There is the fallible narrator, escaping his past, indulging his dandified sensibilities, inevitably sucked into danger beyond his understanding.
▪ Trust your own palate and your own sensibility.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sensibility \Sen`si*bil"i*ty\, n.; pl. Sensibilities. [Cf. F. sensibilit['e], LL. sensibilitas.]

  1. (Physiol.) The quality or state of being sensible, or capable of sensation; capacity to feel or perceive.

  2. The capacity of emotion or feeling, as distinguished from the intellect and the will; peculiar susceptibility of impression, pleasurable or painful; delicacy of feeling; quick emotion or sympathy; as, sensibility to pleasure or pain; sensibility to shame or praise; exquisite sensibility; -- often used in the plural. ``Sensibilities so fine!''

    The true lawgiver ought to have a heart full of sensibility.

    His sensibilities seem rather to have been those of patriotism than of wounded pride.

  3. Experience of sensation; actual feeling.

    This adds greatly to my sensibility.

  4. That quality of an instrument which makes it indicate very slight changes of condition; delicacy; as, the sensibility of a balance, or of a thermometer.

    Syn: Taste; susceptibility; feeling. See Taste.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "capability of being perceived by the senses; ability to sense or perceive," from Old French sensibilite, from Late Latin sensibilitatem (nominative sensibilitas), from sensibilis (see sensible). Rarely recorded until the emergence of the meaning "emotional consciousness, capacity for higher feelings or refined emotion" (1751). Related: Sensibilities.


n. 1 The ability to sense, feel or perceive; especially to be sensitive to the feelings of another 2 (context chiefly in the plural English) An acute awareness or feeling

  1. n. mental responsiveness and awareness [ant: insensibility]

  2. refined sensitivity to pleasurable or painful impressions; "cruelty offended his sensibility"

  3. (physiology) responsiveness to external stimuli; "sensitivity to pain" [syn: sensitivity, sensitiveness]


Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something, such as the emotions of another. This concept emerged in eighteenth-century Britain, and was closely associated with studies of sense perception as the means through which knowledge is gathered. It also became associated with sentimental moral philosophy.

Usage examples of "sensibility".

General considerations--Vicia faba, effects of amputating the tips of the radicles--Regeneration of the tips--Effects of a short exposure of the tips to geotropic action and their subsequent amputation--Effects of amputating the tips obliquely--Effects of cauterising the tips--Effects of grease on the tips--Pisum sativum, tips of radicles cauterised transversely, and on their upper and lower sides--Phaseolus, cauterisation and grease on the tips--Gossypium--Cucurbita, tips cauterised transversely, and on their upper and lower sides--Zea, tips cauterised--Concluding remarks and summary of chapter--Advantages of the sensibility to geotropism being localised in the tips of the radicles.

A most valuable course of local treatment, which may be adopted by any intelligent lady without the aid of a physician, and one that will result in the greatest benefit when there is morbid sensibility, congestion, inflammation, or ulceration about the mouth or neck of the womb, consists in applying to those parts a roll of medicated cotton or soft sponge, allowing it to remain there for twelve hours at a time.

The rigorous preparation for each interview, the ever-ready autocue and his cultured on-screen sensibility, which was more that of the actor than the journalist, all served to hide the real man from the public.

And a wooden cottage with a thatched roof and barkless tree trunks for a doorframe would certainly have offended his sensibilities.

Nellie, Dostoevsky brings this type of moral-psychological conflict, with its characteristic swing from wounded sensibility to masochistic self-laceration and sadism, into its sharpest focus.

He bathed himself in melliferous vibrations and allowed his consciousness to drop to the edge of sensibility.

Naturally melancholy and thoughtful, feeding the sensibilities of his heart upon fiction, and though addicted to the cultivation of reason rather than fancy, having perhaps more of the deeper and acuter characteristics of the poet than those calm and half-callous properties of nature supposed to belong to the metaphysician and the calculating moralist, Mordaunt was above all men fondly addicted to solitude, and inclined to contemplations less useful than profound.

For just as Gustav Mahler might stand as an instance of musicianly temperament fatally outweighing musicianly intellect, so Arnold Schoenberg might stand as an example of the equally excessive outbalancing of sensibility by brain-stuff.

I thought hopefully, bringing me a hot water bottle or a penwiper or something, and if her sensibilities are offended by a stockinged foot, so be it.

Jordan Elliott went to his company commander, Pinner Worrell, with a brilliant plan that combined military strategy with a biblical sensibility for vengeance.

The sight of a quintet of shaggy-haired boys setting up mammoth speakers on the stage in preparation to assault our sensibilities was more than enough to send us away.

She seemed to share his sensibilities, unlike Reflet Aetayn stood and all of the scientists fell to their knees, showing him respect.

This unwonted interruption of the ceremonies clouded many a brow, for the sensibilities of a Venetian noble were quick, indeed, to reprehend the immorality of political discontent, though the conventional dignity of the class suppressed all other ill-timed exhibition of dissatisfaction.

Neither have we any faith, in lasting good resulting from prescribing such nerve sedatives as put the nerves to sleep and so, by simply blunting sensibility, delude the patient into the false belief that he is being benefited.

When these matters are talked about before persons of different ages and various shades of intelligence, I think one ought to be very careful that his use of language does not injure the sensibilities, perhaps blunt the reverential feelings, of those who are listening to him.