Definition of sensibility in US English:

sensibility

noun

  • 1The ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences; sensitivity.

    ‘the study of literature leads to a growth of intelligence and sensibility’
    • ‘Such dumbing-down of aesthetic sensibility is a triumph for the corporate sledgehammer that has so bedazzled him.’
    • ‘At the heart of the discourse lay the attempt to define the western sensibility of this emotion as against the oriental.’
    • ‘Only then can one understand and respond to her rural and romantic sensibility.’
    • ‘At the very apex of æsthetic sensibility is the actual artist of which the prime exponent must be the poet.’
    • ‘Yet he doesn't betray the rigorous sensibility and intelligence that is his hallmark.’
    • ‘The Spanish conquest brought with it a completely different architectural sensibility.’
    • ‘Their films will be appreciated by children but display the kind of humour and sensibility that will endear them equally to adult viewers.’
    • ‘The inability to hold down a job is no longer seen as a moral failing, but as a sign of heightened sensibility.’
    • ‘This is a school which has been hated by any pupil of any intelligence or sensibility for as long as it has existed.’
    • ‘An aesthetic sensibility encourages a child to look for harmony, colour and gentleness all around.’
    • ‘This game appealed to every aspect of my intellect and aesthetic sensibility.’
    • ‘Those of us who knew this other Clyde, this man of strong emotional sensibility, are grateful for the experience.’
    • ‘The two men share a certain poetic sensibility, a love of metaphor.’
    • ‘Mature gentlemen should cultivate some sensibility and awareness of the aesthetics of these things.’
    • ‘It used to be assumed anyone of sensibility or intelligence had to be on the Left.’
    • ‘Such immersion in the language and ways of the Andalusian countryside profoundly influenced his sensibility.’
    • ‘A remarkable combination of artistic sensibility, tact and emotional precision is at work here.’
    • ‘As it was, there was absolutely no aesthetic sensibility at work whatsoever.’
    • ‘Chinese artists show unique sensibility and emotion in their observation.’
    • ‘Looking out at their faces, I saw sensibility, intelligence and curiosity.’
    sensitivity, sensitiveness, finer feelings, delicacy, subtlety, taste, discrimination, discernment
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    1. 1.1sensibilities A person's delicate sensitivity that makes them readily offended or shocked.
      ‘the scale of the poverty revealed by the survey shocked people's sensibilities’
      • ‘Could it be, dear editor, that I am challenging your sensibilities by writing this letter?’
      • ‘They infuriated our mothers' sensibilities and wallets with inane lifestyles and myriad accessories.’
      • ‘That is, of course, when it doesn't offend people's delicate sensibilities.’
      • ‘I felt justified making the remark since she had just insulted my delicate sensibilities.’
      • ‘You would not want to shock the fragile sensibilities of the unmarried ladies in the room.’
      • ‘Of course rap is immune to criticism, since it's supposed to offend our sensibilities, not flatter them.’
      • ‘It's not pretty but somebody has to do it and you can't afford to have delicate sensibilities.’
      • ‘It cannot be said that it offended the sensibilities of consumers generally or was discriminatory.’
      • ‘My liberal sensibilities aren't happy, but the thoughts that come to my head aren't overly liberal, it has to be said.’
      • ‘Is the frontier a little too foreign and rough to your delicate Eastern sensibilities?’
      • ‘I do not want to offend Thai sensibilities and so I would welcome your advice.’
      • ‘He is, he stresses, a sensitive chap, aware of the sensibilities of others.’
      • ‘Strokes of paint, pencils and pieces of crisp, yummy paper also had the same effect on my sensibilities.’
      • ‘It is crammed full of items in a way that will probably offend the sensibilities of minimalists.’
      • ‘Pity the subject matter offends the sensibilities of anyone with an iota of respect for romance.’
      • ‘Intolerance has all of these different forms in the sensibilities of a modern man or woman.’
      • ‘It has outraged the sensibilities of a wide cross-section of people around the world.’
      • ‘I cannot expose all the putrid facts as it would offend the sensibilities of some of you.’
      • ‘The answer is no, even though such an answer may shock the sensibilities of most people.’
      • ‘No one, as far as I am aware, threatened to sue her for wounding their delicate sensibilities.’
      feelings, emotions, finer feelings, delicate sensitivity, sensitivities, susceptibilities, moral sense, sense of outrage
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    2. 1.2Zoology dated Sensitivity to sensory stimuli.
      • ‘He knew full well that his friend was beginning to lose his sensibility but the pain still had a bitter sting.’
      • ‘Threshold tests of sensibility correlated accurately with symptoms of nerve compression.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting the power of sensation): from late Latin sensibilitas, from sensibilis ‘that can be perceived by the senses’ (see sensible).

Pronunciation

sensibility

/ˌsensəˈbilədē//ˌsɛnsəˈbɪlədi/