[in-sen-seyt, -sit]


not endowed with sensation; inanimate: insensate stone.
without human feeling or sensitivity; cold; cruel; brutal.
without sense, understanding, or judgment; foolish.

Origin of insensate

First recorded in 1510–20, insensate is from the Late Latin word insēnsātus irrational. See in-3, sensate
Related formsin·sen·sate·ly, adverbin·sen·sate·ness, noun

Synonyms for insensate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insensate

Contemporary Examples of insensate

Historical Examples of insensate

  • It was insensate folly on his part, ridiculous from any point of view.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • More than once he had hoped the insensate fury of the blizzard might abate.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • It was hardly more now, as the Lady plodded on, than an insensate log.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Regret at their insensate rage is sure to succeed all such outbreaks.

  • Then an insensate wish to stab him to the heart made her turn her head and look at him.


    John Galsworthy

British Dictionary definitions for insensate



lacking sensation or consciousness
insensitive; unfeeling
foolish; senseless
Derived Formsinsensately, adverbinsensateness, 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 insensate

1510s, from Late Latin insensatus "irrational, foolish," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensatus "gifted with sense" (see sensate). Insensate means "not capable of feeling sensation," often "inanimate;" insensible means "lacking the power to feel with the senses," hence, often, "unconscious;" insensitive means "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," often "tactless."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper