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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a controversial/sensitive issue (=an issue that causes strong feelings and arguments)
▪ Abortion is a controversial issue.
a sensitive topic (=one that must be dealt with very carefully, because it may offend people)
▪ It is unusual for a judge to speak publicly about a sensitive topic such as religion.
a sensitive/touchy subject (=one that people may get upset about)
▪ Steer clear of complicated issues or sensitive subjects.
be sensitive to criticism (=to react to criticism, often in a bad way)
▪ He was highly sensitive to criticism in the press.
happy/sensitive/brave/simple etc soul
▪ He is really quite a sensitive soul.
of a nervous/sociable/sensitive etc disposition (=having a nervous etc character)
▪ The film is not suitable for people of a nervous disposition.
sensitive (=becoming red or sore easily)
▪ Special shampoos are available for those with sensitive skin.
▪ Every pore of his skin felt aware, as sensitive as it did after the luxury of a hot bath.
▪ She wondered if they would be as sensitive on her skin as they looked.
▪ The monoclonal antibody that we used is as sensitive to halofantrine as to its main metabolite, whose half-life exceeds 3 days.
▪ Government grants were available in cases where rail would keep lorries off roads regarded as sensitive.
▪ People who don't have a weight problem may simply not be as sensitive to these shifts.
▪ Even Howie can't stand Stonehenge, and Howie's about as sensitive as the fire back.
▪ She was becoming almost as sensitive to him as she had been all those years ago.
▪ Indeed, how you measure something as sensitive as intelligence poses problems.
▪ Five of the dales of the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been designated as environmentally sensitive areas.
▪ Mark Foley, R-Fla., that would earmark $ 210 million to purchase environmentally sensitive areas near the Everglades.
▪ It is significant that such a mainstream and commercial manufacturer is hoping to launch an environmentally sensitive label.
▪ The extension would provide workings for a further 25 years in the heart of an environmentally sensitive area.
▪ They painted samples in an exercise designed to produce a better understanding of the Ecotech concept of more environmentally sensitive products.
▪ For those times it was an environmentally sensitive organisation.
▪ We will create new incentives to follow environmentally sensitive strategies and behaviour.
▪ Proposals I announced last month to create 12 new environmentally sensitive areas will more than treble the area covered.
▪ In fact the water authorities are especially sensitive to criticism in the media.
▪ Honda uses great care to make the goals reasonable and attainable, and the top leaders are especially sensitive in that regard.
▪ Teenagers are said to be especially sensitive to the financial implications and aware of their own lack of power in the matter.
▪ J., journalists are especially sensitive to charges of brutality by sports stars.
▪ Some playing positions are prone to collide with a Floyd's fine tuning system and this one seems to be especially sensitive.
▪ You might also want to protect especially sensitive vegetation with plastic.
▪ Infant mortality is frequently assumed to be an especially sensitive indicator of severe poverty.
▪ It goes without saying that any infringements of these new restrictions will imperil what is already an extremely sensitive access agreement.
▪ The Arizona players are extremely sensitive on the talent-gap issue, especially when reminded of it by Tucson columnist Greg Hansen.
▪ Earthworms have extremely sensitive skins and can not thrive under acid conditions.
▪ This is a little girl who is extremely sensitive to touch; she feels fragile, thin-skinned, easily breakable herself.
▪ All osmotic pressure measurements are extremely sensitive to temperature and must be carried out under rigorously controlled temperature conditions.
▪ As more species of life are slowly added to the embryonic aquarium, the water becomes extremely sensitive to vicious cycles.
▪ It was an extremely sensitive matter, they were told.
▪ It was, moreover, an accusation to which its adherents in the Royal Society were extremely sensitive.
▪ We need to be aware, however, that the school environment is a delicate ecosystem, highly sensitive to political whim.
▪ Managers need to handle highly sensitive direct contacts with clients.
▪ Such a condition also makes living organisms highly sensitive to their environment, reflecting the characteristics of mind and consciousness themselves.
▪ Holystone and Desktop, for instance, designate several highly sensitive undersea operations.
▪ For Tod is highly sensitive to this material.
▪ Unlike the highly sensitive child, the defiant child has some physical characteristics that make a more aggressive approach possible.
▪ Hence, the blind person may develop a superb sense of smell or highly sensitive hearing.
▪ Infants are highly sensitive to the quality of adult attention.
▪ There: people said this and that about him, but no one knew how sensitive he was, how kind.
▪ Events in the United States fourteen years later showed how sensitive the country was to Ameri-can casualties.
▪ His acute sense of observation was remarkable, and his pictures show how sensitive he was to his surroundings.
▪ This would depend on just how sensitive the child is and how her nervous system compensates for her sensitivity.
▪ Notice how sensitive the board is to weight movements the further back you step.
▪ The book also shows how sensitive preparations and aftercare can help ministers overcome some of the difficulties of a funeral.
▪ This analysis shows how sensitive these measures are to varying assumptions about unemployment and female labour for Participation.
▪ The third aim of the project concerns accuracy analysis: how sensitive to data revisions are standard tests of forecasting accuracy?
▪ As age increases, the inner ear becomes less sensitive to high frequencies.
▪ Sometimes a self-absorbed child is less sensitive visually as well.
▪ Those higher doses, in turn, lead to even less sensitive synapses.
▪ Teeth usually become less sensitive as their nerve and blood supply decreases.
▪ The match angler's fixed link-leger is less sensitive than a fixed paternoster as can be appreciated by studying Fig. 1.
▪ Patients became less sensitive to the drug.
▪ Waste exporters are now seeking less sensitive areas.
▪ The performance aspirations of any single breakthrough team were far less sensitive to interdependency.
▪ To experience something, ourselves, is to make us more sensitive to the needs and wants of others.
▪ This new reality helped engender a more sensitive ecclesial approach to the plight of Catholics in broken marriages.
▪ Cattle stealing was more sensitive to economic fluctuations in the twentieth century than it had been earlier.
▪ Yields of shorter-term notes, which are more sensitive to overnight rates set by the Fed, fell more.
▪ Some people are just much more sensitive and perceptive in transmitting or receiving data than others.
▪ Dennis is probably more sensitive to age-related remarks than most of us.
▪ His explanation should have been more sensitive to the interplay between local and national democratic influences on the policing of industrial disputes.
▪ Its a lot more sensitive than that.
▪ The synthesis of modifications in the anticodon stem and loop were shown to be the most sensitive ones.
▪ But how could he bear to strike that most sensitive part of himself in the process?
▪ Writers are among the most sensitive, the most intellectually anarchic, most representative, most probing of artists.
▪ Many of the most sensitive writers and artists of that period denounced the factories and the cities that sprawled out around them.
▪ It's designed to protect and soothe even the most sensitive male skins and prices start at £2.45.
▪ Dole, to his credit, has repeatedly declined to play politics in the most sensitive diplomatic areas.
▪ The announcement will cause concern in the Middle East, where water is one of the most sensitive strategic issues.
▪ In the most sensitive cases yields were reduced by 1 percent for every 1 percent cut in the ozone layer.
▪ There may also be a deep sense of insecurity about venturing off one's own academic patch which makes people particularly sensitive.
▪ It is there-fore not surprising that during this time the Carleton community was particularly sensitive to sexist behavior.
▪ Thirdly, its equilibrium solubility is particularly sensitive to temperature, reaching a maximum at 32.3°C.
▪ The person will have a high level of emotional arousal and be particularly sensitive to social influences which can affect arousal.
▪ This is a particularly sensitive area and care should be taken to reveal no more than is necessary.
▪ These initiation sites may represent areas containing calcium stores that are particularly sensitive to activators such as InsP 3.
▪ Jack de Bie's playing is rhythmically alive, thoughtful and passionate as required, with some particularly sensitive pedalling in evidence.
▪ Young children seem to have been particularly sensitive to the Windscale accident.
▪ As with advocacy, this requires clarity of thought and an ability to think quickly, in a politically sensitive environment.
▪ State-owned enterprises are believed to face pressures to select profit-reducing choices where, for example, price rises are politically sensitive.
▪ The Senate move was part of a broader bipartisan agreement on how the politically sensitive investigation will proceed.
▪ One application for the X-ray destruction method could be in the politically sensitive area of destroying chemical weapons.
▪ What Clinton did with the veterans' budget illustrates the dilemma the White House faces with many politically sensitive constituencies.
▪ It may entail an obligation to obey certain of the more politically sensitive laws.
▪ But Alain, he is so sensitive, he has taken the affair to heart.
▪ Why should the Church feel so sensitive about its Black Virgins?
▪ For example, the power controls can be so sensitive that heat can be regulated by degree.
▪ He loved to play with trucks and cars and he was so sensitive to the other kids.
▪ The issue was so sensitive, he argued, that there should be a cross-party agreement.
▪ Because this child is so sensitive to feelings of embarrassment and humiliation, his needs must be respected.
▪ The reason they do not like it is that they are so sensitive about it.
▪ Summerlee had found an electric probe so sensitive it could detect the passage of a single electron.
▪ He listens attentively as questions are translated, chooses words carefully and dismisses several questions as too sensitive.
▪ Speedsensitive steering too sensitive at slow speeds.
▪ She was being too sensitive, she told herself.
▪ I thought Kareem was being a bit too sensitive, at the time.
▪ Both were too sensitive about the middle-of-the-road, liberal, humanitarian public.
▪ Everyone said I was born restless and too sensitive and intelligent for my own good.
▪ I know that he is retiring, but he need not be too sensitive.
▪ Adolescents are very sensitive about pretence, hypocrisy or deceit on the part of their parents.
Very good looking, very sensitive, but cheerful.
▪ Bat cries, as we have seen, are indeed often very loud, and their ears are very sensitive.
▪ They perceive me as very sensitive, eager to do the right thing.
▪ Apart from that it was observed that the left hand edge appeared not to be very sensitive.
▪ For example, consider a very sensitive child who is easily distracted by every sight and sound around her.
▪ The potassium ferricyanide component is very sensitive, and will detect iron in calcite with 1% ferrous carbonate in solid solution.
▪ Psychologists classify as many as 10 to 15 percent of us as very sensitive.
▪ Pay attention to sensitive areas such as ears, lips and nose.
▪ Salvage logging should be prohibited in sensitive areas....
▪ The key question is how flexibility will be applied in sensitive areas such as foreign policy.
▪ Designating a somewhat less sensitive area of Soviet intercepts was the Delta series of code words.
▪ Now they're going back to a sensitive area.
▪ If accepted by the shipping community, it will mean masters' taking special precautions in 15 sensitive areas around Britain.
▪ We are touching here on the sensitive area of competitive tendering and of privatisation.
▪ Alex, however, subscribes to the standard conspiracy theory that the authorities undermine anyone investigating these sensitive areas.
▪ A sensitive child, she could tell that something was wrong with her father ... with everything.
▪ For example, consider a very sensitive child who is easily distracted by every sight and sound around her.
▪ The pain and humiliation to a sensitive child is crushing.
▪ Parents can help such highly sensitive children by showing them how to soothe themselves.
▪ However; the defiant child also tends to have a little better postural control than the overly sensitive child.
▪ Even more than the average child, sensitive children need to find ways to express their feelings.
▪ It is easier to be soothing with a highly sensitive child who is clingy and frightened than with a defiant child.
▪ That is because sensitive children, like all challenging children, have a wider range of behavior than more easy-going children.
▪ It is clear then that passive receipt of unpublished price sensitive information will suffice for liability for tippee trading.
▪ Included in this process will be the appropriate evaluation and utilization of Secure networks for the transmission of sensitive information.
▪ Also there are legal constraints on the use of price sensitive information.
▪ Those privy to sensitive information about mergers or acquisitions of companies worth millions or billions of pounds must not abuse that privilege.
▪ The market egalitarianism argument fails to draw a distinction between the legitimate and illegitimate use of non public price sensitive information.
▪ A trade magazine journalist was ordered in the High Court to disclose the source of commercially sensitive information.
▪ Some other sensitive information has limited disclosure.
▪ How would commercially sensitive information of one company be protected?
▪ Expenses can be a sensitive issue but they should be available to all volunteers if needed.
▪ The development programme is also a sensitive issue.
▪ Weight remains a sensitive issue for Engler, who is constantly fighting a sometimes serious battle of the bulge.
▪ And being able to discuss sensitive issues with strangers while retaining a comfortable degree of anonymity often makes for startlingly intimate communication.
▪ Encourage employees to adopt a problem-solving attitude when discussing sensitive issues.
▪ How can teachers be supported to help them deal with sensitive issues?
▪ Male resistance to contraception, where it exists, is also linked to the sensitive issue of authority within the household.
▪ He looked like an intelligent, sensitive man, completely happy with his life.
▪ On that night Tryan, although a sensitive man, walks to the church through a jeering mob.
▪ Most shaving products now contain moisturising properties but for the really sensitive man, Wilkinson have formulated Skin Solutions.
▪ Like all artistes, he is a sensitive man and you never offend his sensibilities.
▪ Larry's a builder, Robin's an art dealer, a refined, elegant and sensitive man.
▪ Both Jeremiah and Paul had such feelings; they were sensitive men.
▪ Jeremiah comes across as a very sensitive man, who didn't like taking a message which was being ignored.
▪ Here's another example of just how sensitive men can be.
▪ For anyone worried about extra sensitive skin, there's also a fragrance free wipe.
▪ Very dry and sensitive skins can not use alcohol-based cleansers and may even find water-cleansing too much.
▪ Earthworms have extremely sensitive skins and can not thrive under acid conditions.
▪ There's biological, biological with fabric conditioner, non-biological and non biological for sensitive skins, plus delicate fabric hand wash.
▪ Like chameleons, some are able to vary the colour of their sensitive skins, to remain camouflaged.
▪ However, we know that young or sensitive skins of any age require special attention.
▪ It was shown that some one with normally sensitive skin would not have been affected but that the purchaser had abnormally sensitive skin.
▪ Is your baby a cheeky chappie or a sensitive soul?
▪ A sensitive soul walked into this town like a white missionary into a malarial swamp.
▪ Teachers, after all, are sensitive souls and easily upset - especially P.E. teachers.
▪ The sensitive souls found her more difficult to stomach.
▪ But it is a sensitive subject.
▪ Shelby complained that Lake has failed to answer 25 detailed questions about a range of sensitive subjects.
▪ Sexuality is a sensitive subject, laced with complexities.
▪ Though that might touch on a sensitive subject ... I was sitting on the sofa, quietly crying.
▪ Partly perhaps because policing remains a controversial and sensitive subject in Ireland.
▪ a sensitive musician
▪ A teenager used his personal computer to break into sensitive US Air Force files.
▪ He's sensitive about his bad teeth, so try not to look at them.
▪ I didn't realize that Lee was so sensitive about her family.
▪ If you are a public figure you can't afford to be too sensitive to criticism.
▪ Joel is such a sensitive boy.
▪ My brother pretends he's tough, but he's actually pretty sensitive.
▪ My children are very sensitive about being treated in a patronising way.
▪ Paul is too sensitive for this job. He can't take even the smallest criticism.
▪ Tell me if any of these spots are sensitive.
▪ The administration claims that the documents contain information of a highly sensitive political nature.
▪ The minister admitted that highly sensitive documents had been leaked to the press.
▪ The team is gathering information on the sensitive subject of child abuse.
▪ This is a very sensitive recorder - it picks up every word you say.
▪ Underneath all that macho stuff, he's really a sensitive guy.
▪ Your competitors may have access to the company intranet, so never discuss commercially sensitive issues on-line.
▪ I knew we were on sensitive territory.
▪ In summary, increasing evidence from many studies has pointed to a sensitive period that is significant to the bonding experience.
▪ It is very sensitive to calcium and does not do well in alkaline or hard water.
▪ Some people are just much more sensitive and perceptive in transmitting or receiving data than others.
▪ The dark, clean-shaven face was strong and proud, the mouth firm yet sensitive.
▪ They are fit for any tank and, not being sensitive even to temperature variations, are suitable plants for beginners.
▪ They would not explode for a rabbit or fox, but were sensitive enough for a human body.
▪ When it comes to broaching the subject I don't think there's any sensitive way to do it.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

classified \classified\ adj.

  1. arranged into classes or categories; as, unclassified.

    Syn: categorized.

  2. assigned to a class of documents withheld from general circulation; -- of information or documents. Opposite of unclassified.

    Note: [Narrower terms: eyes-only; confidential; restricted; secret; sensitive; top-secret]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., in reference to the body or its parts, "having the function of sensation;" also (early 15c.) "pertaining to the faculty of the soul that receives and analyzes sensory information;" from Old French sensitif "capable of feeling" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin sensitivus "capable of sensation," from Latin sensus, past participle of sentire "feel perceive" (see sense (n.)).\n

\nMeaning "easily affected" (with reference to mental feelings) first recorded 1816; meaning "having intense physical sensation" is from 1849. Original meaning is preserved in sensitive plant (1630s), which is "mechanically irritable in a higher degree than almost any other plant" [Century Dictionary]. Meaning "involving national security" is recorded from 1953. Related: Sensitively; sensitiveness.


a. 1 Having the faculty of sensation; pertaining to the senses. 2 responsive to stimuli. 3 Of a person, easily offend, upset or hurt. 4 Of an issue, capable of offending, upsetting or hurting. 5 accurate (instrument). n. One with a paranormal sensitivity to something that most cannot perceive.

  1. adj. responsive to physical stimuli; "a mimosa's leaves are sensitive to touch"; "a sensitive voltmeter"; "sensitive skin"; "sensitive to light" [ant: insensitive]

  2. having acute mental or emotional sensibility; "sensitive to the local community and its needs" [ant: insensitive]

  3. able to feel or perceive; "even amoeba are sensible creatures"; "the more sensible p enveloping(a), shrouding(a), concealing,& (concealing by enclosing or wrapping as if in something that is not solid; "the enveloping darkness"; "hills concealed by shrouding mists") arts of the skin" [syn: sensible] [ant: insensible]

  4. hurting; "the tender spot on his jaw" [syn: sore, tender]

  5. used officially of classified information or matters affecting national security


Sensitive may refer to:

  • Mister Sensitive, a fictional character
  • Psychic, a person who professes an ability to perceive information through extrasensory perception
  • "Sensitive" (song), a 1989 indie pop song by The Field Mice
Sensitive (song)

"Sensitive" is the second single by The Field Mice. It was released as a 7" vinyl record on Sarah Records in February 1989, and included a fold-out poster depicting a leaf. Sensitive, on which the band's sound verged on shoegazing, has been described as "an anthemic statement of purpose...a defence of feeling...and a comment on the way sensitivity is criticized, or punished even". The single reached number 12 in the UK Independent Chart in March that year. "Sensitive" was also voted at number 26 in the 1989 Festive 50. Both tracks from the single were later included on the CD reissue of the band's debut mini-album Snowball.

Usage examples of "sensitive".

Stevens connected up the enormous fixed or dirigible projectors to whatever accumulator cells were available through sensitive relays, all of which he could close by means of one radio impulse.

As a little loop of fine thread hung on a tendril or on the petiole of a leafclimbing plant, causes it to bend, we thought that any small hard object affixed to the tip of a radicle, freely suspended and growing in damp air, might cause it to bend, if it were sensitive, and yet would not offer any mechanical resistance to its growth.

Made sensitive to her own vulnerability, she was mindful that the three priests on the pyramid dais were affronted, but powerless to intervene.

I contemplated food phobias, the more I became convinced that people who habitually avoid certifiably delicious foods are at least as troubled as people who avoid sex, or take no pleasure from it, except that the latter will probably seek psychiatric help, while food phobics rationalize their problem in the name of genetic inheritance, allergy, vegetarianism, matters of taste, nutrition, food safety, obesity, or a sensitive nature.

We can, however, make the two deflections equal by increasing the amplitude of vibration of the less sensitive point.

By suitably increasing the amplitude of vibration of the less sensitive, the two deflections were rendered approximately equal.

Rolling a tennis ball along the lower half of his buttocks is a great way to take a hands-off hands-on approach to the more sensitive areas around the anus, like the space between his butt cheeks, as well as his perineum and anal entrance.

My contention is that they were impelled, not by the teachings of Anarchism, but by the tremendous pressure of conditions, making life unbearable to their sensitive natures.

Type III-V compounds such as indium antimonide and perhaps in all compounds, if the experiments are sensitive enough to pick up this effect.

Sidewinders, which used the Argon-cooled Indium Antimonide Sensor that was extremely sensitive.

I am sensitive to such things, and sleeping in my workroom, and having to tidy it up and stow away my bedclothes, and then settle down to a long day with my aporetics, gave me a sense of having lost caste, of having come down in the world, which was quite unreasonable but none the less real.

That the Adie barometer is rather less sensitive than the other is of small importance, as the variations of atmospheric pressure at Framheim were not very great.

The bartender had a big nose, with highly trained and sensitive olfactory capabilities.

But what Bettee did not realize was that every man, and especially someone of his size, creates air pressure when he runs and while most people, especially those with eyesight, are not sensitive to those pressures, the frail little guard was sensitive even unto his muscle fibers.

As she leaned against Blad, she allowed her hand to stroke a sensitive area of his body, unseen by the king.