Definition of insensate in English:



  • 1Lacking physical sensation.

    ‘a patient who was permanently unconscious and insensate’
    • ‘Duchenne lectured on expression at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, which still houses his remarkable photographs of experiments involving the attaching of electrodes to the selected facial muscles of a thankfully insensate man.’
    • ‘Diabetics often suffer from insensate fingers, and they said that manipulating and positioning test strips correctly in a monitor proved difficult, as well as attention grabbing in social situations.’
    • ‘I know it's just what it is; I know the plane isn't going to crash, but nothing else wants to make me put back a gallon of vodka and sprawl back in the seat with my mouth open, insensate as the lucky luggage in the hold below.’
    • ‘Some 9,000 British people die every year from alcohol-related illness and hundreds of thousands are hospitalised or rendered insensate.’
    • ‘Anaxagoras compounded this heresy by alleging that the stars were insensate bodies as well, stones carried in orbit by the rapid movement of the heavens and that occasionally a stone might detach itself to become a falling star.’
    • ‘She pointed to a heap of insensate lobsters piled in a corner.’
    • ‘And never mind that, five years ago, according to a report in the Miami Herald, the couple openly conceded that she was insensate, her brain destroyed.’
    • ‘When the serf no longer responded to whipping because you were just hitting old insensate scar tissue, that would be the equivalent of low batteries.’
    • ‘Natural scientists in general, and biologists in particular, often adopt some version of the Cartesian presumption that nonhuman animals are insensate machines made of meat.’
    • ‘At dawn Vathek visits the prison, only to find that the Giaour has escaped, leaving his guards insensate.’
    • ‘As with any technique used on the insensate foot, careful attention to detail must be made during application to ensure effective off-loading and the prevention of secondary injury.’
    • ‘Initially my plan had been to buy up every copy that had snuck into the country and destroy it before it managed to corrupt some poor young child whose future would be better served by painting fences or being beaten insensate with a belt.’
    • ‘It's tricky to separate the emotional memory of watching a movie (and I saw this one slightly drunk, at 11 pm at night, surrounded by a huge number of similarly insensate people) from the emotion evoked by the music itself.’
    • ‘When Logan was concerned, I was still insensate.’
    • ‘Ingesting drugs - unless they render you completely insensate, which isn't a bad thing - serves only to accentuate personality qualities you already possess.’
    • ‘In the early days, I was insensate, unable to swallow, eat, stand, sit.’
    • ‘The act released his physical energies without unfettering his will; his mind was still spellbound, but his powerful body and agile limbs, endowed with a blind, insensate life of their own, resisted stoutly and well.’
    • ‘The innocuous trauma of high pressure jets and bubble massage to the insensate breast and back areas had caused the bruising seen in the picture.’
    • ‘They probably couldn't benefit much from suggestions but perhaps, if in deep enough trance, as neurologically defined, they would simply be insensate.’
    unconscious, insensible, senseless, insentient, comatose, knocked out, passed out, blacked out, inert, stupefied, stunned
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    1. 1.1 Lacking sympathy or compassion; unfeeling.
      ‘a positively insensate hatred’
      • ‘His money and position have rendered him insensate, an exemplar of a culture which has become itself insensate, which refuses to learn from history.’
      • ‘Arguing that idealism, like the belief in heaven, makes us impractical, insensate, and out of touch with this world, Levis fuses tropes of religion with tropes of riding horseback.’
      • ‘Rather, they were driven chiefly by an insensate hatred of America and all things American.’
      • ‘Fahrenheit 9/11 is a movie so evil and depraved it has caused him to foam in insensate rage without having seen it.’
      • ‘It would have to be with the video for maximum impact, since the sight of Bono's smug histrionics reduces all sensitive sentient creatures to a state of rabid insensate rage.’
      • ‘Alias captures the look and feel of the hit ABC TV show, with players battling the forces of insensate evil.’
  • 2Completely lacking sense or reason.

    ‘insensate jabbering’
    • ‘Since the sexual revolution of the sixties, in fact, insensate jealousy of the kind that leads to death in Vilnius hotel rooms has become not morbid or pathological, but perfectly normal, at least in the statistical sense.’
    • ‘It was not simply to vindicate him in his insensate battle with the BBC.’
    • ‘The insensate desire for speed is what blinds us to the carnage cars cause.’


Late 15th century: from ecclesiastical Latin insensatus, from in- ‘not’ + sensatus ‘having senses’ (see sensate).