[ sens ]
/ sɛns /


verb (used with object), sensed, sens·ing.

Nearby words

  1. sensational,
  2. sensationalism,
  3. sensationalist,
  4. sensationalize,
  5. sensationism,
  6. sense and sensibility,
  7. sense datum,
  8. sense of equilibrium,
  9. sense organ,
  10. sense perception


Origin of sense

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English < Latin sēnsus sensation, feeling, understanding, equivalent to sent(īre) to feel + -tus suffix of v. action, with tt > s; (v.) derivative of the noun

4. Sense, sensation refer to consciousness of stimulus or of a perception as pleasant or unpleasant. A sense is an awareness or recognition of something; the stimulus may be subjective and the entire process may be mental or intellectual: a sense of failure. A sensation is an impression derived from an objective (external) stimulus through any of the sense organs: a sensation of heat. It is also a general, indefinite physical or emotional feeling: a sensation of weariness. 5. awareness, apprehension. 7. rationality. 9. estimation, appreciation. 13. signification, import, denotation, connotation, interpretation. See meaning. 16. feeling, sentiment. 19. discern, appreciate, recognize.

Related formshalf-sensed, adjectiveun·sensed, adjectiveun·sens·ing, adjective

Can be confusedcents scents sense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in a sense


/ (sɛns) /


verb (tr)

Word Origin for sense

C14: from Latin sēnsus, from 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

Word Origin and History for in a sense
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for in a sense


[ sĕns ]


Any of the faculties by which stimuli from outside or inside the body are received and felt, as the faculties of hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and equilibrium.
A perception or feeling that is produced by a stimulus; sensation, as of hunger.


To become aware of; perceive.

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

Idioms and Phrases with in a sense

in a sense

Also, in some sense. Sort of, in some ways but not others. For example, In a sense our schools are the best in the state, but the test scores don't always show that, or In some sense I agree with you, but not entirely. [Late 1500s] Also see in a way.


see come to one's senses; horse sense; in a sense; lull into (a false sense of security); make sense; sixth sense; take leave of (one's senses); talk sense.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.