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[in-sen-seyt, -sit] /ɪnˈsɛn seɪt, -sɪt/
not endowed with sensation; inanimate:
insensate stone.
without human feeling or sensitivity; cold; cruel; brutal.
without sense, understanding, or judgment; foolish.
Origin of insensate
First recorded in 1510-20, insensate is from the Late Latin word insēnsātus irrational. See in-3, sensate
Related forms
insensately, adverb
insensateness, noun
1. lifeless, inorganic. 2. insensible. 3. stupid, irrational, senseless, witless, dumb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insensate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was insensate folly on his part, ridiculous from any point of view.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • More than once he had hoped the insensate fury of the blizzard might abate.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • It was hardly more now, as the Lady plodded on, than an insensate log.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • Regret at their insensate rage is sure to succeed all such outbreaks.

  • Then an insensate wish to stab him to the heart made her turn her head and look at him.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • How different dear Mr. Hutton's hand was from its dull, insensate image!

    The World I Live In

    Helen Keller
  • The optic nerve is a shrunken, atrophied and insensate thread.

  • One of his complaints was that his wife was mute and insensate, and sat silent at his board.

    Obiter Dicta Augustine Birrell
  • She could not explain a devotion that instigated her to an insensate course.

British Dictionary definitions for insensate


/ɪnˈsɛnseɪt; -sɪt/
lacking sensation or consciousness
insensitive; unfeeling
foolish; senseless
Derived Forms
insensately, adverb
insensateness, 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 insensate

1510s, from Late Latin insensatus "irrational, foolish," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensatus "gifted with sense" (see sensate). Insensate means "not capable of feeling sensation," often "inanimate;" insensible means "lacking the power to feel with the senses," hence, often, "unconscious;" insensitive means "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," often "tactless."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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