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90s Slang You Should Know


[sen-si-tiv] /ˈsɛn sɪ tɪv/
endowed with sensation; having perception through the senses.
readily or excessively affected by external agencies or influences.
having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the feelings of others.
easily pained, annoyed, etc.
pertaining to or connected with the senses or sensation.
Physiology. having a low threshold of sensation or feeling.
responding to stimuli, as leaves that move when touched.
highly responsive to certain agents, as photographic plates, films, or paper.
affected or likely to be affected by a specified stimulus (used in combination):
price-sensitive markets.
involving work, duties, or information of a highly secret or delicate nature, especially in government:
a sensitive position in the State Department.
requiring tact or caution; delicate; touchy:
a sensitive topic.
constructed to indicate, measure, or be affected by small amounts or changes, as a balance or thermometer.
Radio. easily affected by external influences, especially by radio waves.
a person who is sensitive.
a person with psychic powers; medium.
Origin of sensitive
1350-1400; < Medieval Latin sēnsitīvus, irregular formation on Latin sēns-, past participle stem of sentīre to sense (see -ive); replacing Middle English sensitif(e) < Middle French sensitif, sensitive < Medieval Latin, as above
Related forms
sensitively, adverb
nonsensitive, adjective
nonsensitively, adverb
nonsensitiveness, noun
ultrasensitive, adjective
ultrasensitively, adverb
unsensitive, adjective
unsensitively, adverb
unsensitiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sensitively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They feel too keenly, too sensitively, are guided too much by individual temperamental preferences.

  • And all the child in Paul, responding so sensitively to his mother's feelings, agreed to this.

  • Furthermore her work was now scrupulously honest, and she was sensitively alert to the slightest imputation of untruthfulness.

    Betty Wales Freshman Edith K. Dunton
  • Her grandfather; for whom her affection is so sensitively keen, has disappeared.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It was of these delicate and awful visitings that Horatio was, more than the rest, aware and sensitively expectant.

  • He seemed to feel the beauty of it sensitively, as she did critically.

  • The modern world is probably not ideally moral, but it is sensitively fastidious and scrupulously observant of "good form."

    The Quest for a Lost Race Thomas E. Pickett
  • She was finely and sensitively organized; considerate and gentle.

    The Shadow of Ashlydyat Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for sensitively


having the power of sensation
responsive to or aware of feelings, moods, reactions, etc
easily irritated; delicate: sensitive skin
affected by external conditions or stimuli
easily offended
of or relating to the senses or the power of sensation
capable of registering small differences or changes in amounts, quality, etc: a sensitive instrument
(photog) having a high sensitivity: a sensitive emulsion
connected with matters affecting national security, esp through access to classified information
(of a stock market or prices) quickly responsive to external influences and thus fluctuating or tending to fluctuate
Derived Forms
sensitively, adverb
sensitiveness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin sēnsitīvus, from Latin sentīre to feel
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 sensitively



late 14c., in reference to the body or its parts, "having the function of sensation;" also (early 15c.) "pertaining to the faculty of the soul that receives and analyzes sensory information;" from Old French sensitif "capable of feeling" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin sensitivus "capable of sensation," from Latin sensus, past participle of sentire "feel perceive" (see sense (n.)).

Meaning "easily affected" (with reference to mental feelings) first recorded 1816; meaning "having intense physical sensation" is from 1849. Original meaning is preserved in sensitive plant (1630s), which is "mechanically irritable in a higher degree than almost any other plant" [Century Dictionary]. Meaning "involving national security" is recorded from 1953. Related: Sensitively; sensitiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sensitively in Medicine

sensitive sen·si·tive (sěn'sĭ-tĭv)

  1. Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses.

  2. Responsive to a stimulus.

  3. Susceptible to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others.

  4. Easily irritated or inflamed, especially due to previous exposure to an antigen.

  5. Relating to, or characterizing a sensitized antigen.

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