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[sen-shoo-uh-liz-uh m] /ˈsɛn ʃu əˌlɪz əm/
subjection to sensual appetites; sensuality.
Philosophy. sensationalism (def 3).
Origin of sensualism
First recorded in 1795-1805; sensual + -ism
Related forms
hypersensualism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sensualism
Historical Examples
  • Not the virginity that spells a piquant preface to sensualism.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • This "tragedy of sensualism" has qualities too arresting to be lightly disregarded.


    Horace Barnett Samuel
  • He had an air of sensualism, of one who held women very light.

    To Tell You the Truth Leonard Merrick
  • A sensualism so delicate that it did not appear to be sensualism began to invade him.

    Marching Men Sherwood Anderson
  • If in the inverse direction, opposite the interlocutor, sensualism is indicated.

  • She was dressed in some soft, flowing, white material which gave her more of a seraphic appearance than one of sensualism.

    The Witch Hypnotizer Zena A. Maher
  • The prevalence of such a sensualism or aestheticism would alone suffice to explain the impotence of the arts.

    Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana
  • He grew able to resist the contagion of her sensualism and to make her happy, without essentially occupying himself.

    Gargoyles Ben Hecht
  • Epicurus has been branded as a libertine, and the name "Epicurean" has, in almost all languages, become the synonym of sensualism.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy Benjamin Franklin Cocker
  • No roughness disfigures, no sensualism blights, no straining for effect chills, no meretricious ornament destroys them.

British Dictionary definitions for sensualism


the quality or state of being sensual
another word for sensationalism (sense 3a), sensationalism (sense 3b)
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 sensualism

1803, "the philosophical doctrine that the senses are the sole source of knowledge," from sensual + -ism. From 1813 as "addiction to sensual indulgence."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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