Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[in-sen-si-tiv] /ɪnˈsɛn sɪ tɪv/
deficient in human sensibility, acuteness of feeling, or consideration; unfeeling; callous:
an insensitive person.
not physically sensitive:
insensitive skin.
not affected by physical or chemical agencies or influences:
insensitive to light.
not readily responsive or aware:
insensitive to the needs of the peasants.
Origin of insensitive
First recorded in 1600-10; in-3 + sensitive
Related forms
insensitiveness, insensitivity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for insensitive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He went out with a fire at his heart that made him insensitive to the frost without.

  • So this that quivered in his thick fingers, too insensitive to feel it, was a valentine for him!

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • A preparation thus made is insensitive at the beginning, but if left undisturbed it slowly recovers its excitability.

    Life Movements in Plants Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
  • Calhoun drew a sample of blood from the insensitive area on Murgatroyd's flank.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • They pierce the hide of the thickest and dullest; they startle and bewilder the brains of the most crass and the most insensitive.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
British Dictionary definitions for insensitive


lacking sensitivity; unfeeling
lacking physical sensation
(postpositive) foll by to. not sensitive (to) or affected (by): insensitive to radiation
Derived Forms
insensitively, adverb
insensitiveness, insensitivity, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for insensitive

c.1600, "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning "without consideration for the feelings of others" attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for insensitive

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for insensitive

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for insensitive