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[sen-shoo-uh s] /ˈsɛn ʃu əs/
perceived by or affecting the senses:
the sensuous qualities of music.
readily affected through the senses:
a sensuous temperament.
of or relating to sensible objects or to the senses.
Origin of sensuous
1630-40; < Latin sēnsu(s) sense + -ous
Related forms
sensuously, adverb
sensuousness, sensuosity
[sen-shoo-os-i-tee] /ˌsɛn ʃuˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
antisensuous, adjective
antisensuously, adverb
antisensuousness, noun
hypersensuous, adjective
hypersensuously, adverb
hypersensuousness, noun
nonsensuous, adjective
nonsensuously, adverb
nonsensuousness, noun
subsensuous, adjective
subsensuously, adverb
subsensuousness, noun
supersensuous, adjective
supersensuously, adverb
supersensuousness, noun
unsensuous, adjective
unsensuously, adverb
unsensuousness, noun
Can be confused
sensual, sensuous (see synonym study at sensual)
1. See sensual. 2. feeling, sensible. 3. sentient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sensuously
Historical Examples
  • Now whether this completeness is sensuously possible, is a problem.

  • She had not believed it could seem so beautiful, so magnificent, so sensuously seductive.

    Joan Thursday

    Louis Joseph Vance
  • Dupont's voice was a tenor, not powerful, but deliciously, sensuously sweet.

    For the Major Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • And all around her are women of the same type, exotic products of a society highly artificial, sensuously material.

    In Vanity Fair

    Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd
  • As a healthy and sensuously vigorous man he felt a voluptuous satisfaction in clasping actual nature in his herculean arms.

  • By the poet's imagination, and through the art of his expression, thought may be sensuously perceived.

    The Approach to Philosophy Ralph Barton Perry
  • The love of a highly developed and sensuously beautiful music in worship always implies a certain infusion of mysticism.

  • He may flatter the ear, sensuously speaking, but he can never play the piece in style.

    Piano Playing

    Josef Hofmann
  • For every science which is not directed to the divine is shallow, superficial, sensuously negative, and idly rationalizing.

  • Accordingly, the man governed preponderately by feelings, or sensuously unstrung, is emancipated and set free by matter.

    The Aesthetical Essays Friedrich Schiller
British Dictionary definitions for sensuously


aesthetically pleasing to the senses
appreciative of or moved by qualities perceived by the senses
of, relating to, or derived from the senses
Derived Forms
sensuously, adverb
sensuousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: apparently coined by Milton to avoid the unwanted overtones of sensual; not in common use until C19: from Latin sēnsussense + -ous
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 sensuously



1640s, "pertaining to the senses" apparently coined by Milton to recover the original meaning of sensual and avoid the lascivious connotation that the older word had acquired, but by 1870 sensuous, too, had begun down the same path and come to mean "alive to the pleasures of the senses." Rare before Coleridge popularized it "To express in one word all that appertains to the perception, considered as passive and merely recipient ...." (1814). From Latin sensus (see sense (n.)) + -ous. Related: Sensuously; sensuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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