Definition of sensitively in English:



  • 1In a way that is quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences.

    ‘plants respond sensitively to the environment’
    • ‘Silverware reacted sensitively to possibly poisoned food by turning such food a different color.’
    • ‘This depends sensitively on the spectral shape of the response function for the particular biological end point of interest.’
    • ‘Its function depends sensitively on its lipid environment.’
    • ‘The predicted age depends much more sensitively on Hubble's constant.’
    • ‘The stains have been used to sensitively detect single DNA fragments using two-photon fluorescence excitation.’
    • ‘The transactivation assay needed to sensitively detect changes in transcription factor activity.’
    • ‘We were able to detect changes in erythema more sensitively for both natural and solar-simulated light than by visual or standard colorimetric measurement.’
    • ‘The electrostatic free energies depend sensitively on the dielectric constant assigned to the protein interior.’
    • ‘The clinically relevant membrane concentration does not depend sensitively on temperature.’
    • ‘The activation of this bacterial channel depends sensitively on internal pH.’
    1. 1.1 In a manner that shows quickness to take offence or become upset.
      ‘there is no need to react sensitively over every statement’
      • ‘What message is sent to those who are sensitively emotional and who hold dear to this?’
      • ‘The child coloured sensitively as Jessie frowned upon her outspoken little relative.’
      • ‘She reacts sensitively to seven of these poems dealing with mother-daughter relationships.’
      • ‘It's really annoying when you get so sensitively offended.’
      • ‘It's not that she didn't have a reason to be sensitively upset, but she didn't even know she had the reason.’
      • ‘Perhaps you feel humiliated, cross, or resentful but you keep quiet, or you behave sensitively.’
      • ‘The girl's fair face flushed sensitively, and she averted her eyes.’
      • ‘It is a living document of a mother and wife who sensitively reacts to the surroundings and often is hurt by the difficulties encountered by those near and dear to her.’
      • ‘He was the sensitively weepy one.’
      • ‘Her sad face flushed sensitively as tears sprang to her eyes.’
  • 2With a quick and delicate appreciation of others' feelings.

    ‘the issue needs to be handled sensitively’
    ‘responding sensitively to parental anxiety remains essential’
    • ‘That's certainly not new, as the minister had so sensitively pointed out in the wake of these horrifying events.’
    • ‘They make an effort to sensitively address Lucy's condition.’
    • ‘Her work remains sensitively attuned to women's issues.’
    • ‘To write intelligently and sensitively students need to understand the culture and how what they create might be received.’
    • ‘To handle any subject sensitively is an admirable ambition, but he is having none of it.’
    • ‘Teachers need to be able to bounce back quickly and react sensitively to their needs.’
    • ‘I was constantly impressed by how sensitively caring he is for her human limitations while describing them so clinically.’
    • ‘Take the example of someone creating an Aboriginal character, who must know how sensitively the research for that character must be carried out.’
    • ‘She dealt sensitively with the plight of a rape victim.’
    • ‘He sensitively convinces his horse to make it across.’
    1. 2.1 With care, perceptiveness, and appreciation.
      ‘the Edwardian property has been sensitively restored and redecorated’
      ‘the scene is sensitively portrayed’
      • ‘From the main entrance, you pass through the existing patio courtyard, sensitively restored, before finally connecting with the new wing.’
      • ‘The balcony reaches across the back of the chapel, sensitively preserving existing wood details.’
      • ‘Every feather and bit of down on the bird is sensitively reproduced.’
      • ‘The famous duet was much less alluring and well-balanced than that in the last act, but the scene's close was sensitively managed.’
      • ‘This refurbishment sensitively rehabilitates a Victorian institution to house galleries and performance spaces.’
      • ‘They are beautifully played, and the orchestras are sensitively directed by the respective conductors.’
      • ‘The Dutch architect and teacher has won international acclaim for his sensitively designed buildings.’
      • ‘The installation is evocatively lit and sensitively installed.’
      • ‘All sci-fi should be this intelligently written, effectively shot, and sensitively acted.’
      • ‘The existing elements that remain in the interior are handled well, and the insertions into that space are sensitively designed.’
  • 3In a way that ensures secrecy or restrictions on disclosure.

    ‘any information we receive will be treated sensitively’
    • ‘Given the special concerns regarding its unauthorized use and disclosure, enforcement of such rights arguably requires different or more sensitively applied measures.’
    • ‘Information about a member's positive screening test will be treated sensitively and on a strict need-to-know basis.’
    • ‘Refer to the section on 'handling secrecy sensitively'.’
    • ‘We have to do this sensitively because none of us likes personal data being spread around the place willy-nilly.’
    • ‘Unless handled strategically and sensitively, such organisational complexity has the potential to cause conflict.’
    • ‘In 2005, a consultation paper was issued proposing allowing 'sensitively conducted' research into jury discussions.’
    • ‘The collection of secret intelligence from sensitively placed human sources depends crucially on maintaining their confidence.’
    • ‘The energy minister said he appreciated the matter would have to be dealt with sensitively.’
    • ‘The prime minister said in a letter last week that some documents needed to be "handled sensitively."’
    • ‘I would have hoped that this would have been treated more sensitively, given the knowledge they have of legal systems.’