Definition of insensitive in US English:



  • 1Showing or feeling no concern for others' feelings.

    ‘an insensitive remark’
    • ‘Prepare your child for insensitive questions or uncaring remarks that may come from adults when the SEA results are out.’
    • ‘The connection between religious beliefs and epilepsy is a curiosity, but for those living with the difficulty of epileptic seizures these concerns may seem a little insensitive.’
    • ‘His remarks are also particularly insensitive as we approach the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings when so many soldiers gave their lives to help liberate Europe.’
    • ‘Male or female, they can be insensitive, callous, immature, selfish, proud (without base), and chauvinistic.’
    • ‘‘Learn the value of any criticism, even harsh and insensitive criticism,’ Clark said.’
    • ‘To give any more away would make me as insensitive and unfeeling as a cannibal.’
    • ‘Jody quickly calmed her down, knowing that she had just made an insensitive remark.’
    • ‘I've apologized for the - you know, the remarks and what they seemed to infer in such an insensitive way.’
    • ‘Don't let your silence become tacit approval for insensitive, derogatory or racist remarks made by professional athletes.’
    • ‘Some might call him insensitive, callous even, but he believes there's some plain talk that America and a large part of the rest of the world needs to hear.’
    • ‘Furious critics have condemned her insensitive remarks as ‘appalling’.’
    • ‘Well, if he is two-faced, self-centred, plausibly insincere, manipulative and insensitive… be concerned.’
    • ‘The characters are often insensitive and cruel.’
    • ‘Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.’
    • ‘It's tempting to take this study as justification for any overreactions we women may have had to insensitive remarks.’
    • ‘Others are still insensitive and thoughtless.’
    • ‘The simple task of baking a cake defeats Laura, her domesticity challenged by a friend's insensitive remark that ‘anyone can bake a cake’.’
    • ‘Next thing you take her at her word and you never hear the end of it… how all you care about is you, and how you are insensitive and unfeeling!’
    • ‘The chilling and insensitive arrogance of this remark is breathtaking.’
    • ‘I don't want the ability to be harsh or insensitive just to shock my readers.’
    heartless, unfeeling, inconsiderate, thoughtless, thick-skinned, hard-hearted, stony-hearted, cold-hearted, cold-blooded, with a heart of stone, as hard as nails, lacking compassion, compassionless, uncaring, unconcerned, unsympathetic, unkind, callous, hard, harsh, cruel, merciless, pitiless, unpitying, uncharitable, inhuman
    impervious to, oblivious to, unaware of, unappreciative of, unresponsive to, indifferent to, unaffected by, unmoved by, untouched by, immune to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not sensitive to a physical sensation.
      ‘she was remarkably insensitive to pain’
      • ‘Hygge and colleagues also found that noise-exposed children are relatively insensitive to speech, even though their hearing is unimpaired.’
      • ‘Finally it is only at the level of the plasmalemma or the cytoskeleton itself, and assuming that sensitive and insensitive zones are serially connected that the stresses might be relevant.’
      • ‘We become insensitive to pain, cold, wind, homesickness, thirst, hunger.’
      • ‘A number of other biochemical variables either remained insensitive to lead exposure or responded moderately to chelation treatment.’
      • ‘In barley and Arabidopsis sensitive and insensitive components of the high-affinity K + uptake have been described.’
      • ‘Estimation of the length for photoperiodically sensitive and insensitive phases of each genotype on the basis of equation involves an iterative regression procedure.’
      • ‘The followers we studied that hyperpolarize in response to HA and show increasing membrane conductance are insensitive to NO.’
      • ‘In contrast, petal wilting was either ethylene sensitive or insensitive, and this was also generally consistent within families or subfamilies.’
      • ‘AHG procedures were often too insensitive or overly sensitive.’
      • ‘Teeth form mainly from neuroectoderm and comprise a crown of insensitive enamel surrounding sensitive dentine and a root that has no enamel covering.’
      • ‘Glucose sensitive and glucose insensitive neurons of the lateral hypothalamic area have shown differential responsiveness to gustatory and olfactory stimuli.’
      • ‘Examples of regulatory regions that were highly sensitive, moderately sensitive, and insensitive were found.’
      • ‘Oxygen utilization that was insensitive to KCN and sensitive to SHAM was indicative of the presence of the alternative pathway.’
      • ‘Diploid clones insensitive to rotenone and sensitive to antimycin A + myxothiazol were selected.’
      • ‘The paradox is that tilapia islets produce insulin in a very glucose sensitive manner but simultaneously appear to be peripherally insensitive to insulin.’
    2. 1.2 Not aware of or able to respond to something.
      ‘both were in many ways insensitive to painting’
      • ‘Pupils at Bwacha High school in Kabwe yesterday demonstrated, demanding the removal of their head teacher whom they accused of being rude and insensitive to their needs.’
      • ‘In trying to reach their own public, the new crusaders have fallen back on sensationalism, and have become insensitive to the dignity of the very women they want to save.’
      • ‘I found myself reading again passages that reminded me of just how unaware and insensitive I am to health concerns in developing countries.’
      • ‘Tourists intent on bartering can be hugely insensitive to the fact that the locals they are hammering down to a bargain price may be incredibly poor and the sums involved shamefully petty by our standards.’
      • ‘We should point out that Rosenberger is by no means insensitive to the responsibilities of those dishing out satire and ridicule.’
      • ‘The methods of selecting architects are drawn from archaic and insensitive World Bank guidelines that are not concerned about creating architecture.’
      • ‘He accused the Canadian anti-globalisation movement of being racist and insensitive to Native and Québecois history for using a maple leaf as its symbol.’
      • ‘I accused him of being thoughtless and insensitive to my needs.’
      • ‘Not that I am insensitive to Ms. Warner's plight.’
      • ‘In '68, he released High School, which featured devastating footage of some rather fascistic teachers being wildly insensitive to their students.’
      • ‘The trouble is that in the process, it is only too easy to become insensitive to some realities which ought to impinge on one's consciousness - and one's conscience.’
      • ‘She's very cold and distant, and she seems to be cruel, greedy, and insensitive to society.’
      • ‘Rules have distinct advantages as behavioral guides, but they can promote rigid responding that is insensitive to changed contingencies.’
      • ‘The academy's headmaster is stressing that only adults can win the prizes, and he says he's not insensitive to gun violence.’
      • ‘The current Jewish critique of Israel is often portrayed as insensitive to Jewish suffering, past as well as present, yet its ethic is based on the experience of suffering, in order that suffering might stop.’
      • ‘His people were saying he was ineffective, was out of touch, was insensitive to the rough times they were going through, wouldn't listen, and didn't lead.’
      • ‘Those exercising political power were not insensitive to certain features of the new thought.’
      • ‘He and other Democrats accused her of being insensitive to victims of rape, housing discrimination, age discrimination and even racial discrimination.’
      • ‘Obviously this means he will find out the hard way, and kick himself for being so insensitive to the life of another.’
      • ‘Many meat processors in the state feel that the USDA inspection service is inflexible and insensitive to their needs.’