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  1. having, using, or showing good sense or sound judgment: a sensible young woman.
  2. cognizant; keenly aware (usually followed by of): sensible of his fault.
  3. significant in quantity, magnitude, etc.; considerable; appreciable: a sensible reduction in price.
  4. capable of being perceived by the senses; material: the sensible universe.
  5. capable of feeling or perceiving, as organs or parts of the body.
  6. perceptible to the mind.
  7. conscious: The patient was speechless but still sensible.
  8. Archaic. sensitive.

Origin of sensible

1325–75; Middle English < Old French < Latin sēnsibilis, equivalent to sēns(us) sense + -ibilis -ible
Related formssen·si·ble·ness, nounsen·si·bly, adverbnon·sen·si·ble, adjectivenon·sen·si·ble·ness, nounnon·sen·si·bly, adverbo·ver·sen·si·ble, adjectiveo·ver·sen·si·ble·ness, nouno·ver·sen·si·bly, adverbun·sen·si·ble, adjectiveun·sen·si·ble·ness, nounun·sen·si·bly, adverb

Synonyms for sensible

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Synonym study

1. See practical.

Antonyms for sensible

1. stupid. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sensibly

Contemporary Examples of sensibly

  • When hardworking people with limited food have the chance, they sensibly sit or lie, which costs much less energy than standing.

  • The Queen, sensibly, spends all her holidays at Balmoral or Sandringham, where she can truly be assured of total privacy.

  • Others, like the ability to get into very narrow specialty products, are “advantages” that you have sensibly eschewed.

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    How to Save it and Where

    Megan McArdle

    February 19, 2013

  • Richard Holbrooke was a proud specimen of our national character—relentless, expansive, and sensibly patriotic.

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    An American in Full

    Jonathan Alter

    December 14, 2010

  • “Because we are product designers,” Hannes Koch says, sensibly.

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    Anthony Haden-Guest

    June 18, 2009

Historical Examples of sensibly

British Dictionary definitions for sensibly


  1. having or showing good sense or judgmenta sensible decision
  2. (of clothing) serviceable; practicalsensible shoes
  3. having the capacity for sensation; sensitive
  4. capable of being apprehended by the senses
  5. perceptible to the mind
  6. (sometimes foll by of) having perception; awaresensible of your kindness
  7. readily perceived; considerablea sensible difference
  1. Also called: sensible note a less common term for leading note
Derived Formssensibleness, nounsensibly, adverb

Word Origin for sensible

C14: from Old French, from Late Latin sēnsibilis, from Latin sentīre to sense
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 sensibly

early 15c., "in a manner perceived to the senses," from sensible + -ly (2). Meaning "with good sense" is attested from 1755.



late 14c., "capable of sensation or feeling;" also "capable of being sensed or felt, perceptible to the senses," hence "easily understood; logical, reasonable," from Late Latin sensibilis "having feeling, perceptible by the senses," from sensus, past participle of sentire "perceive, feel" (see sense (n.)). Of persons, "aware, cognizant (of something)" early 15c.; "having good sense, capable of reasoning, discerning, clever," mid-15c. Of clothes, shoes, etc., "practical rather than fashionable" it is attested from 1855.

Other Middle English senses included "susceptible to injury or pain" (early 15c., now gone with sensitive); "worldly, temporal, outward" (c.1400); "carnal, unspiritual" (early 15c., now gone with sensual). Related: Sensibleness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sensibly in Medicine


  1. Perceptible by the senses or by the mind.
  2. Having the faculty of sensation; able to feel or perceive.
  3. Having a perception of something; cognizant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.