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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for insensible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The cord was cut and the body came lumbering to the earth a heavy and insensible mass.

    The Prairie J. Fenimore Cooper
  • But business fell by insensible degrees into the second place.

  • The domestics found him speechless and insensible on the floor--the blood oozing from his mouth and ears.

    A Love Story A Bushman
  • For all that, he was three days insensible, and after that unfit for duty.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • They are now insensible, and will remain so for at least half an hour, therefore you may now do your share of the work, Barker.

    Two Gallant Sons of Devon Harry Collingwood
  • Yet I would not be regarded as one who is insensible to the charms of music.

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • How insensible must you be, if you do not profit by their instruction!

  • Then he kicked him about the head until the poor fellow was insensible.

    The Call Of The South Louis Becke
  • Ought I not rather to remain the representative of the law, incapable of emotion, insensible to prejudice?

    The Widow Lerouge Emile Gaboriau
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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