Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: sensitif, from Medieval Latin sensitivus, from Latin sensus; SENSE1


sen‧si‧tive S3 W3

understanding people

able to understand other people's feelings and problems [≠ insensitive]:
a sensitive and intelligent young man
sensitive to
It's made me much more sensitive to the needs of the disabled.

easily offended

easily upset or offended by events or things that people say:
a very sensitive child
sensitive about
Laura's sensitive about her weight.
sensitive to
Throughout her career she remained very sensitive to criticism.
sensitive soul British English (=someone who is easily upset by small or unimportant things)

easily affected

easily affected or damaged by something such as a substance or temperature:
Wetlands are environmentally sensitive areas.
a baby's sensitive skin
sensitive to
Older people tend to be very sensitive to cold.
Increasing numbers of people are sensitive to cow's milk.


a situation or subject that is sensitive needs to be dealt with very carefully, because it is secret or because it may offend people:
Abortion is a very sensitive issue.
sensitive matters such as national security
highly sensitive information

reacting to changes

reacting to very small changes in light, temperature, position etc:
a highly sensitive electronic camera
light-sensitive/heat-sensitive etc
light-sensitive photographic paper

art/music etc

able to understand or express yourself through art, music, literature etc:
a very sensitive performance
sensitively adverb:
It is an issue which needs to be handled sensitively.
WORD FOCUS: difficult WORD FOCUS: difficult
difficult to do: hard, tough, challenging, daunting

difficult and needing a lot of physical effort: tough, strenuous, back-breaking, gruelling, arduous, punishing

difficult to deal with or talk about: tricky, awkward, delicate, sensitive, touchy

words for describing a difficult person: awkward, trying

words for describing difficult conditions: adverse, hostile

See also

Dictionary results for "sensitive"
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