any of the faculties, such as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body: Helen Keller once wrote that hearing was the sense she most wished she could have had.
Usually sen·ses . the faculties by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body collectively: His senses were screaming that danger was nearby.
the operation or function of the organs of touch, taste, etc.; sensation: The bloodhound’s sense of smell is greatly enhanced by its long, droopy ears, which scoop up the scents from the ground.
a feeling or perception produced through the organs of touch, taste, etc., or resulting from a particular condition of some part of the body: She had an uncomfortable sense of cold on the back of her neck.
a faculty or function of the mind analogous to sensation: His moral sense rebelled against such an unethical scheme.
any special capacity for perception, estimation, appreciation, etc.: In this job you've got to have a sense of humor.
Usually sen·ses . clear and sound mental faculties; sanity: Have you taken leave of your senses?
a more or less vague perception or impression: Sitting with his back to the wall gave him a sense of security.
a mental discernment, realization, or recognition: All workers should have a sense of the worth of their labor.
the recognition of something as incumbent or fitting: My sense of duty compels me to accept this mission.
sound practical intelligence: He has no sense.
something that is sensible or reasonable: Try to talk sense instead of shouting.
the meaning or gist of something: You missed the sense of his statement.
the value or worth of something; merit: There's no sense in worrying about the past.
the meaning of a word or phrase in a specific context, especially as isolated in a dictionary or glossary; the semantic element in a word or group of words: The word "dog" has a literal sense, but it can also be metaphorical.
an opinion or judgment formed or held, especially by an assemblage or body of persons: We didn't bother with formal minutes, but we did take notes on the general sense of the meeting.
Genetics. a DNA sequence that is capable of coding for an amino acid (distinguished from nonsense).
Mathematics. one of two opposite directions in which a vector may point.
to perceive (something) by the senses; become aware of: I sense there's a storm on the way.
to grasp the meaning of; understand.
(of certain mechanical devices) to detect physical phenomena, as light, temperature, radioactivity, etc., mechanically, electrically, or photoelectrically.
Computers. to receive or capture (encoded data) electrically, photoelectrically, etc., through an input device: When you scan the bar code, an optical mark reader senses the data encoded in the position of the bars.: Compare read1 (def. 16).
Idioms about sense
come to one's senses, to regain one's good judgment or realistic point of view; become reasonable.
in a sense, according to one explanation or view; to a certain extent: In a sense it may have been the only possible solution.
make sense, to be reasonable or comprehensible: His attitude doesn't make sense.
- half-sensed, adjective
- un·sensed, adjective
- un·sens·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sense in a sentence
So, I grew up with a real sense of family, and even though there were often problems, it wasn’t like everything was just working, but there was a family there to help solve whatever it was.
So Google in a sense can see the connections between the articles and fact check database to better match fact checks with stories.Google now uses BERT to match stories with fact checks | Barry Schwartz | September 10, 2020 | Search Engine Land
You build up these hierarchies of structures and they never end, in a sense.Talking Is Throwing Fictional Worlds at One Another - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Kevin Berger | September 9, 2020 | Nautilus
This hijacking makes evolutionary sense, given that the bacteria enter the germline to ensure their vertical transmission.How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found | Viviane Callier | September 9, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
In the Politics Report, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts break down the ongoing real estate scandal so that readers have a better sense of how we got here.Morning Report: Hotel Workers Want Their Jobs Back | Voice of San Diego | September 8, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
Then, as I sat here on this “throne,” this beautiful choir struck my ears and senses.
After a few minutes, I came to my senses enough to see an angry mob standing on the railway platform.As 30-Year Anniversary of Mass Killings in India Arrives, Sikhs Find Safety in USA | Simran Jeet Singh | October 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sachs adds, “All the senses that connect us with nature are important.”
The sexual acts are mysterious, unpredictable, and passionate; they tease your senses.What Porn Stars Find Sexy on TV: From ‘Game of Thrones’ to ‘Deadliest Catch’ | Aurora Snow | September 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But you cannot deny that when you go you are experiencing the show through all of your senses.
It was when the face and figure of a great tragedian began to haunt her imagination and stir her senses.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
I assured him I was well refreshed with his good entertainment and company, and as much in my senses as ever I was in my life.Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
Not a zephyr ruffled the leaf of a rose, and a soft breathing fragrance bathed his reposing senses.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
A quick vision of death smote her soul, and for a second of time appalled and enfeebled her senses.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
In making this marriage he had obeyed the cry of two voices within him, the voice of the senses and the voice of the soul.Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for sense
any of the faculties by which the mind receives information about the external world or about the state of the body. In addition to the five traditional faculties of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, the term includes the means by which bodily position, temperature, pain, balance, etc, are perceived
such faculties collectively; the ability to perceive
a feeling perceived through one of the senses: a sense of warmth
a mental perception or awareness: a sense of happiness
moral discernment; understanding: a sense of right and wrong
(sometimes plural) sound practical judgment or intelligence: he is a man without any sense
reason or purpose: what is the sense of going out in the rain?
substance or gist; meaning: what is the sense of this proverb?
specific meaning; definition: in what sense are you using the word?
an opinion or consensus
maths one of two opposite directions measured on a directed line; the sign as contrasted with the magnitude of a vector
the import of an expression as contrasted with its referent. Thus the morning star and the evening star have the same reference, Venus, but different senses
the property of an expression by virtue of which its referent is determined
that which one grasps in understanding an expression
make sense to be reasonable or understandable
take leave of one's senses See leave 2 (def. 8)
to perceive through one or more of the senses
to apprehend or detect without or in advance of the evidence of the senses
to test or locate the position of (a part of computer hardware)
to read (data)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with sense
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.