deficient in human sensibility, acuteness of feeling, or consideration; unfeeling; callous: an insensitive person.
not physically sensitive: insensitive skin.
not affected by physical or chemical agencies or influences: insensitive to light.
not readily responsive or aware: insensitive to the needs of the peasants.

Nearby words

  1. insense,
  2. insensibility,
  3. insensible,
  4. insensible perspiration,
  5. insensibly,
  6. insentient,
  7. insep.,
  8. inseparability,
  9. inseparable,
  10. insert

Origin of insensitive

First recorded in 1600–10; in-3 + sensitive

Related formsin·sen·si·tive·ness, in·sen·si·tiv·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insensitivity

British Dictionary definitions for insensitivity



lacking sensitivity; unfeeling
lacking physical sensation
(postpositive foll by to) not sensitive (to) or affected (by)insensitive to radiation
Derived Formsinsensitively, adverbinsensitiveness or insensitivity, 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 insensitivity



c.1600, "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning "without consideration for the feelings of others" attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper