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[in-sen-suh-buh l] /ɪnˈsɛn sə bəl/
incapable of feeling or perceiving; deprived of sensation; unconscious, as a person after a violent blow.
without or not subject to a particular feeling or sensation:
insensible to shame; insensible to the cold.
unaware; unconscious; inappreciative:
We are not insensible of your kindness.
not perceptible by the senses; imperceptible:
insensible transitions.
unresponsive in feeling.
not susceptible of emotion or passion; void of any feeling.
not endowed with feeling or sensation, as matter; inanimate.
Origin of insensible
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Latin word insēnsibilis. See in-3, sensible
Related forms
insensibly, adverb
insensibility, noun
5, 6. apathetic, unfeeling, indifferent, cool; dull, passionless, emotionless, torpid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insensible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was not insensible to the advantages of his proposal, and gladly assured him of my acceptance.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Mr. Hervey could not be insensible to her distress or to her delicacy.

  • I am not insensible of the need of spiritual renovation in our Society.

  • He was lying there insensible, blood oozing from a wound in the forehead.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Let then your future life show that you are not insensible of the magnitude of the obligation.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • In a moment, he seized the breathless and insensible Imogen, and lifted her to his car.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • She has been at death's door since she lost her darling—has been insensible, and I know not what.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • I was not insensible to all his powers of attraction; I thought him one of the most amiable of men.

  • Some threw themselves on the ground, stiff and motionless and insensible as dead men.

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for insensible


lacking sensation or consciousness
foll by of or to. unaware (of) or indifferent (to): insensible to suffering
thoughtless or callous
a less common word for imperceptible
Derived Forms
insensibility, insensibleness, noun
insensibly, adverb
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 insensible

c.1400, "lacking the power to feel with the senses," from Latin insensibilis "that cannot be felt," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensibilis (see sensible). Also sometimes in Middle English "incapable of being felt or perceived by the senses" (early 15c.). Meaning "unconscious" is attested from early 15c. See insensate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insensible in Medicine

insensible in·sen·si·ble (ĭn-sěn'sə-bəl)

  1. Having lost consciousness, especially temporarily; unconscious.

  2. Lacking physical sensation or the power to react, as to pain or cold; numb.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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