Definition of insensible in English:



  • 1[usually as complement] Without one's mental faculties, typically as a result of injury or intoxication; unconscious.

    ‘they knocked each other insensible with their fists’
    • ‘Apparently, he is a rather high-level alcoholic, insensible between takes, though perfectly clear when required on cam.’
    • ‘They were thrown out of a pony carriage and Sir Watkins Wynn was picked up insensible.’
    • ‘While hypnotized, the client generally hears and remembers much of what is being spoken, is not completely insensible during the session and can freely choose to disregard any suggestions the hypnotherapist makes.’
    • ‘In the summer, Saturday would bring a golf tournament, and the slugging back of cans on the course to maintain his equilibrium, before another night of drinking himself insensible, sometimes accompanied by bed-wetting.’
    • ‘Away they would go, raping and pillaging around the port, drinking themselves insensible, passing out on the docks, in bars, on the roadway, in the brothels… in fact, anywhere there was enough space to collapse.’
    • ‘Although best watched when insensible with drink, The Adventures Of Grey Boab is as shamefully hypnotic as a car crash.’
    • ‘For those who like stories of brave lads surviving training then doing their bit blowing up bridges, knifing the Hun and drinking themselves insensible while on leave, then this is for you.’
    • ‘At about 9:10 am, two workers were found insensible in their dormitory on Jingyuan Lu.’
    • ‘Once having imbibed too much liquor he became sleepy and insensible.’
    • ‘He was taken to see the doctors but fell into a coma and was insensible for three months.’
    • ‘Nilsen made sure the men he killed were insensible from drink before he strangled them, and wrote tenderly about them after the killing was over.’
    • ‘The sudden sensory deprivation is not going to render a grown man or even small child insensible and throw them into fits of panic.’
    • ‘Also, if there is a means of rendering an animal insensible before cutting, then surely this is what is required in a compassionate society.’
    • ‘I go out and become insensible with drink and end up in hospital.’
    • ‘This would make me woozy and two glasses would render me insensible.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, go read some of the fine blogs at the side there, and I'll just nip off and quietly drink myself insensible in the hiatus.’
    • ‘They take me, insensible, up the ladder to their prison and have me tied down in boxes where the winter wind comes in the gaps and freezes them.’
    • ‘Some are in jail, some are medicated insensible, some are living lives of dangerous poverty.’
    • ‘With VeriChip all a crook would have to do is render a holder insensible - hardly difficult in a nightclub - and free drinks are theirs for the night.’
    • ‘And I thought the whole point of going to the pub was to become insensible.’
    unconscious, insensate, senseless, insentient, comatose, knocked out, passed out, blacked out, inert, stupefied, stunned
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    1. 1.1(of a person or bodily extremity) without feeling; numb.
      ‘the horny and insensible tip of the beak’
      • ‘This operation gives not the least pain to the bird, the point of the hook merely taking hold in the horny and insensible tip of the bill.’
      • ‘At the moment, he was almost insensible with fatigue.’
      deprived of sensation, without feeling, numbed, benumbed, dead, deadened, desensitized, insensate, senseless, unfeeling
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  • 2Unaware of or indifferent to.

    ‘they slept on, insensible to the headlight beams’
    • ‘By harping constantly only on the scenario in which guns may actually prove to be useful and can legitimately be used, we appear as people who are grossly out of touch with, and insensible to, the real nature and extent of the problem.’
    • ‘This normally took the form of an excrescence or area of skin that was insensible to pain.’
    • ‘She was quite insensible to the tone in which I had spoken; she went on from bad to worse.’
    • ‘They are insensible to their own external effects, those they produce in other domains.’
    • ‘Her outstanding flaw is the ability to be totally insensible to the feelings of others.’
    • ‘Few lads could have been more insensible to the impressions of a life thus passed among the ensigns of mortality.’
    • ‘She is utterly insensible to the fact that Henry's scandal might affect her in any way.’
    • ‘I sometimes catch myself wondering what the world will be like after I am dead and trying to tell myself that it will not matter because I will be insensible to it.’
    • ‘But Gillray is not insensible to the ironies of human existence, and if he is patriotically attached to the values that he believes make his country the superior of its enemies, he is certainly no xenophobe.’
    • ‘The pioneer is insensible to arguments touching the future supply… The want of foresight that permitted the destruction of these magnificent forests will be bitterly lamented.’
    • ‘Not a teenybopper in the country was insensible to Charlie Simpson's departure from Busted, and while their hopes soared, critics of the band began to queue up to slate them before they had even touched their instruments.’
    • ‘The choreography keeps this single-mindedness through the four sections of Lou Harrison's score: often, the dancers seem to work at staying insensible of those nearby, yet their movements coordinate perfectly with others.’
    • ‘Peter Bell is a potter, a lawless, roving man, insensible to the beauty of nature.’
    • ‘It doesn't render them unconscious or make them insensible to pain.’
    • ‘Another brother slumped on the floor, insensible to the fact that he was sitting in his mother's blood.’
    • ‘In the process of impressionistically conveying that Jim seems acted upon by occult forces that render him insensible to reason, Marlow is himself diverted from his narrative intent.’
    unaware of, ignorant of, without knowledge of, unconscious of, unmindful of, mindless of, oblivious to
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  • 3Too small or gradual to be perceived; inappreciable.

    ‘varying by insensible degrees’
    • ‘The small or extremely immature infant < 1000 g will experience increased insensible water losses.’
    • ‘Rieff now contends that such an insensible change has become not a danger but an appalling fact.’
    • ‘However, there are conditions that may increase so-called insensible losses through sites such as the skin.’
    • ‘Dehydration is particularly likely to occur in small children because of decreased intake during an extended period of respiratory distress, combined with increased insensible losses.’
    imperceptible, unnoticeable, undetectable, indistinguishable, indiscernible, unapparent, inappreciable, invisible, inaudible, impalpable, unobtrusive, impossible to detect
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Late Middle English (also in the senses ‘unable to be perceived’ and ‘incapable of physical sensation’): partly from Old French insensible (from Latin insensibilis, from in- not + sensibilis, from sensus sense), partly from in- ‘not’+ sensible.