pertaining to, inclined to, or preoccupied with the gratification of the senses or appetites; carnal; fleshly.
lacking in moral restraints; lewd or unchaste.
arousing or exciting the senses or appetites.
worldly; materialistic; irreligious.
of or relating to the senses or physical sensation; sensory.
pertaining to the philosophical doctrine of sensationalism.

Origin of sensual

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin sēnsuālis, equivalent to sēnsu-, stem of sēnsus sense + -ālis -al1
Related formssen·su·al·ly, adverbhy·per·sen·su·al, adjectivehy·per·sen·su·al·ly, adverbhy·per·sen·su·al·ness, nounnon·sen·su·al, adjectivenon·sen·su·al·ly, adverbsub·sen·su·al, adjectivesub·sen·su·al·ly, adverbtrans·sen·su·al, adjectivetrans·sen·su·al·ly, adverbun·sen·su·al, adjectiveun·sen·su·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedsensual sensuous (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for sensual

Synonym study

1. Sensual, sensuous, voluptuous refer to experience through the senses. Sensual refers, often unfavorably, to the enjoyments derived from the senses, especially from the gratification or indulgence of physical appetites: a sensual delight in eating; sensual excesses. Sensuous refers, favorably or literally, to what is experienced through the senses: sensuous impressions; sensuous poetry. Voluptuous implies the luxurious gratification of sensuous or sensual desires: voluptuous joys; voluptuous beauty. See also carnal. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unsensual

Historical Examples of unsensual

  • It was because she was so unsensual and chaste that she could act as she had done.

    Pelle the Conqueror, Complete

    Martin Anderson Nexo

  • He described that pure and unsensual heaven destined to the virtuous—those fires and torments that were the doom of guilt.

    The Last Days of Pompeii

    Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

  • Of course, all this is said in respect of that philosophic and unsensual παιδεραστία which is a favourite fiction with Plato.

  • For a moment she had been surprised by an emotion—a curious, unsensual desire for the awkward Keegan.


    Ben Hecht

British Dictionary definitions for unsensual



of or relating to any of the senses or sense organs; bodily
strongly or unduly inclined to gratification of the senses
tending to arouse the bodily appetites, esp the sexual appetite
of or relating to sensualism
Derived Formssensually, adverbsensualness, noun

Word Origin for sensual

C15: from Late Latin sensuālis, from Latin sēnsus sense . Compare French sensuel, Italian sensuale
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 unsensual



early 15c., "carnal, unspiritual;" mid-15c., "of or pertaining to the senses," from Middle French sensuel (15c.) and directly from Late Latin sensualis "endowed with feeling" (see sensuality). Meaning "connected with gratification of the senses," especially "lewd, unchaste" is attested from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unsensual in Medicine




Relating to or affecting any of the senses or a sense organ; sensory.
Of, relating to, given to, or providing gratification of the physical and especially the sexual appetites.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.