Origin of insensible

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Latin word insēnsibilis. See in-3, sensible
Related formsin·sen·si·bly, adverbin·sen·si·bil·i·ty, noun

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

Examples from the Web for insensible

Contemporary Examples of insensible

  • This is a trial in the court of public opinion, to which the elected Manhattan district attorney is not insensible.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Judge Drops Strauss-Kahn Charges

    Christopher Dickey, John Solomon

    August 22, 2011

Historical Examples of insensible

  • I was not insensible to the advantages of his proposal, and gladly assured him of my acceptance.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Mr. Hervey could not be insensible to her distress or to her delicacy.

  • I am not insensible of the need of spiritual renovation in our Society.

  • He was lying there insensible, blood oozing from a wound in the forehead.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Let then your future life show that you are not insensible of the magnitude of the obligation.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

British Dictionary definitions for insensible



lacking sensation or consciousness
(foll by of or to) unaware (of) or indifferent (to)insensible to suffering
thoughtless or callous
a less common word for imperceptible
Derived Formsinsensibility or insensibleness, nouninsensibly, adverb
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 insensible

c.1400, "lacking the power to feel with the senses," from Latin insensibilis "that cannot be felt," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensibilis (see sensible). Also sometimes in Middle English "incapable of being felt or perceived by the senses" (early 15c.). Meaning "unconscious" is attested from early 15c. See insensate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

insensible in Medicine




Having lost consciousness, especially temporarily; unconscious.
Lacking physical sensation or the power to react, as to pain or cold; numb.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.