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  1. destitute or deprived of sensation; unconscious.
  2. lacking mental perception, appreciation, or comprehension.
  3. stupid or foolish, as persons or actions.
  4. nonsensical or meaningless, as words: This letter is either cryptic or senseless.
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Origin of senseless

First recorded in 1550–60; sense + -less
Related formssense·less·ly, adverbsense·less·ness, noun


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1. insensate, insensible. 2. unperceiving, undiscerning. 3. silly, idiotic, inane, witless, asinine.


2. sensitive. 3. intelligent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for senseless

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • Lady Delacour was senseless, supported in the surgeon's arms.

  • "Five dollars," repeated the old lady, lapsing into senseless iteration.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • The death of her son had been like a blow on the head that had felled her senseless to the ground.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • It appeared that all the cattle on the plain joined in the blind and senseless charge.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

British Dictionary definitions for senseless


  1. lacking in sense; foolisha senseless plan
  2. lacking in feeling; unconscious
  3. lacking in perception; stupid
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Derived Formssenselessly, adverbsenselessness, 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

Word Origin and History for senseless


1550s, "without sensation," from sense (n.) + -less. Of actions, etc., "devoid of purpose, proceeding from lack of intelligence," it is attested from 1570s. Related: Senselessly; senselessness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper