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

Synonym study

1. See practical.

Antonyms for sensible

1. stupid. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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.

    The Daily Beast logo
    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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    My Art Basel Favorites

    Anthony Haden-Guest

    June 18, 2009

Historical Examples of sensibly

British Dictionary definitions for sensibly



having or showing good sense or judgmenta sensible decision
(of clothing) serviceable; practicalsensible shoes
having the capacity for sensation; sensitive
capable of being apprehended by the senses
perceptible to the mind
(sometimes foll by of) having perception; awaresensible of your kindness
readily perceived; considerablea sensible difference


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

Medicine definitions for sensibly




Perceptible by the senses or by the mind.
Having the faculty of sensation; able to feel or perceive.
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.