Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

sensitive - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective sensitive pronunciation in British English /ˈsensətɪv/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    reacting quickly or strongly to something
    A new generation of satellites will carry particularly sensitive instruments.
    Bats have extremely sensitive ears.
    light-sensitive materials
    sensitive to: Coral is very sensitive to changes in water temperature.
    1. a.
      likely to become angry or upset easily
      If I’d known she was so sensitive, I wouldn’t have teased her.
      sensitive to: Kyle takes his work seriously and is sensitive to criticism.
  2. 2
    needing to be protected
    Conservationists and farmers in environmentally sensitive areas are learning to work together.
    Wear rubber gloves if you have very sensitive skin.
    1. a.
      needing to be kept secret
      Some items on the agenda involve commercially sensitive information.
    2. b.
      needing to be dealt with carefully
      The issues are controversial and politically sensitive.
  3. 3
    showing that you care about someone or something and do not want to cause offence
    This is a case that needs sensitive and skilful handling.
    sensitive to: The police should be more sensitive to the needs of local communities.

derived word


noun [uncountable]


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog