sense - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [singular] a strong feeling or belief about yourself
    sense of:

    Winning an award would give me a great sense of achievement.

    They say they are dealing with the problem, but there seems to be no sense of urgency.

    a sense of optimism/confidence/well-being:

    A little bit of praise and appreciation can give people a real sense of well-being.

    a sense of foreboding/unease/panic:

    Beth read Jake’s letter with a mounting sense of panic.

    a sense of identity/belonging/community:

    It’s a small village with a strong sense of local identity.

  2. 2
    [countable] one of the natural abilities that most people have to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel things, known as the five senses
    sense of smell/taste/touch etc:

    Dogs have a sense of smell that is five times more sensitive than that of humans.

    1. a.
      [singular] a natural ability or quality that some people have

      You need a good sense of balance to skate well.

      sense of humour (=the ability to laugh at things or say funny things):

      She’s got a great sense of humour.

      sense of direction (=an ability to know where you are going, even when you are in a place that you do not know):

      I’m sure he’ll be able to find the house – he has a pretty good sense of direction.

      business sense:

      Our father was a good designer, but he had no business sense.

    2. b.
      [uncountable] the ability to behave in an intelligent way and make good decisions

      He should have had the sense to park the car in the shade.

      talk sense (=speak in an intelligent way):

      At least they’ve got someone who can talk sense on the subject.

  3. 3
    [uncountable] a good reason, or a useful purpose

    There’s no sense in going ahead until the costs have been agreed.

    1. a.


      [plural] a reasonable way of talking and behaving
      bring someone to their senses (=make someone become reasonable):

      What’s it going to take to bring him to his senses?

      come to your senses (=become reasonable):

      Portman urged the government to come to its senses and stop nuclear testing.

  4. 4
    [countable] the meaning of a word or phrase

    The wordbank’ has a number of senses.

    We are talking about vocational training in the broadest sense.

    1. a.
      [singular] a way of thinking about or understanding something, although there may be other ways
      in a sense:

      My family’s from this area, so in a sense it’s like coming home.

      in one sense:

      In one sense, Robertson is a typical politician.

       Synonyms and related words