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[hahy-per-sen-si-tiv] /ˌhaɪ pərˈsɛn sɪ tɪv/
excessively sensitive:
to be hypersensitive to criticism.
allergic to a substance to which persons do not normally react.
Origin of hypersensitive
First recorded in 1870-75; hyper- + sensitive
Related forms
hypersensitiveness, hypersensitivity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hypersensitive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was no time for Clancy to be hypersensitive about Vandervent's honor.

    Find the Woman

    Arthur Somers Roche
  • A conscience newly aroused by her terrible tragedy and hypersensitive?

    Clark's Field Robert Herrick
  • He is hypersensitive and emotional, not argumentative and judicial.

  • Radowitz, in all matters connected with money, was hypersensitive and touchy.

    Lady Connie

    Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • The bald stubby man waddling forward looked neither calloused nor hypersensitive.

  • In the result Chichikov received not only his papers, but also some warm clothing for his hypersensitive limbs.

    Dead Souls Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
British Dictionary definitions for hypersensitive


having unduly vulnerable feelings
abnormally sensitive to an allergen, a drug, or other agent
Derived Forms
hypersensitiveness, hypersensitivity, 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 hypersensitive

1827, a hybrid from hyper- + sensitive. Related: Hypersensitivity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypersensitive in Medicine

hypersensitive hy·per·sen·si·tive (hī'pər-sěn'sĭ-tĭv)
Responding excessively to the stimulus of a foreign agent, such as an allergen; abnormally sensitive.

hy'per·sen'si·tive·ness or hy'per·sen'si·tiv'i·ty (-tĭv'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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