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sensitive

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adjective American English pronunciation: sensitive /ˈsensətɪv/
 
  1. 1
    reacting quickly or strongly to something

    A new generation of satellites will carry particularly sensitive instruments.

    light-sensitive materials

    Bats have very sensitive ears.

    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 offense

    This is a case that needs sensitive and skillful handling.

    sensitive to:

    The police should be more sensitive to the needs of local communities.

derived word

sensitiveness

noun [uncountable]
 

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the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

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