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See more synonyms for sensibility on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural sen·si·bil·i·ties.
  1. capacity for sensation or feeling; responsiveness or susceptibility to sensory stimuli.
  2. mental susceptibility or responsiveness; quickness and acuteness of apprehension or feeling.
  3. keen consciousness or appreciation.
  4. sensibilities, emotional capacities.
  5. Sometimes sensibilities. liability to feel hurt or offended; sensitive feelings.
  6. Often sensibilities. capacity for intellectual and aesthetic distinctions, feelings, tastes, etc.: a man of refined sensibilities.
  7. the property, as in plants or instruments, of being readily affected by external influences.
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Origin of sensibility

1325–75; Middle English sensibilite < Middle French < Late Latin sēnsibilitās. See sensible, -ity
Related formshy·per·sen·si·bil·i·ty, nounnon·sen·si·bil·i·ty, noun, plural non·sen·si·bil·i·ties.un·sen·si·bil·i·ty, noun, plural un·sen·si·bil·i·ties.

Synonyms for sensibility

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1. Sensibility, susceptibility, sensitiveness, sensitivity refer to capacity to respond to or be affected by something. Sensibility is, particularly, capacity to respond to aesthetic and emotional stimuli: the sensibility of the artist. Susceptibility is the state or quality of being impressionable and responsive, especially to emotional stimuli; in the plural it has much the same meaning as sensibility : a person of keen susceptibilities. Sensitiveness is the state or quality of being sensitive, of having a capacity of sensation and of responding to external stimuli: sensitiveness to light. Sensitivity is a special capability of being sensitive to physiological, chemical action or a tendency to be easily affected by the adverse reactions of others: the sensitivity of a nerve; sensitivity to criticism. 2. alertness, awareness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sensibility


noun plural -ties
  1. the ability to perceive or feel
  2. (often plural) the capacity for responding to emotion, impression, etc
  3. (often plural) the capacity for responding to aesthetic stimuli
  4. mental responsiveness; discernment; awareness
  5. (usually plural) emotional or moral feelingscruelty offends most people's sensibilities
  6. the condition of a plant of being susceptible to external influences, esp attack by parasites
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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 sensibility


late 14c., "capability of being perceived by the senses; ability to sense or perceive," from Old French sensibilite, from Late Latin sensibilitatem (nominative sensibilitas), from sensibilis (see sensible). Rarely recorded until the emergence of the meaning "emotional consciousness, capacity for higher feelings or refined emotion" (1751). Related: Sensibilities.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sensibility in Medicine


  1. The ability to perceive stimuli.
  2. Mental or emotional responsiveness toward something, such as the feelings of another.
  3. Receptiveness to impression, whether pleasant or unpleasant; acuteness of feeling.
  4. The quality of being affected by changes in the environment.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.