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

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/