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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce insensitive (audio)

Dictionary definition of insensitive

Lacking empathy, tact, or consideration for the feelings and sensitivities of others.
"The insensitive treatment of the patients in the healthcare facility led to a decline in trust and satisfaction."

Detailed meaning of insensitive

When applied to a person, it suggests a disregard or indifference towards the emotional or physical well-being of others. Insensitive individuals may unintentionally or intentionally say or do things that cause hurt, offense, or distress to others without understanding or recognizing the impact of their actions. They may exhibit a lack of sensitivity towards cultural, social, or personal differences, dismissing or minimizing the experiences and perspectives of others. Insensitive remarks or behaviors can be emotionally damaging, leading to strained relationships, misunderstandings, or further harm. In broader contexts, the term "insensitive" can also describe objects, policies, or practices that disregard or overlook the needs, challenges, or vulnerabilities of certain individuals or groups. Overall, "insensitive" characterizes a lack of understanding, compassion, or awareness of the feelings and experiences of others.

Example sentences containing insensitive

1. His insensitive comment about her appearance deeply hurt her feelings.
2. The manager's insensitive response to the employee's concern created tension in the workplace.
3. It was insensitive of him to make jokes about a serious topic during the conversation.
4. The insensitive behavior of the crowd towards the performer dampened the atmosphere of the event.
5. Her insensitive remarks about his personal struggles revealed a lack of empathy.
6. The company's decision to lay off employees without any notice was seen as insensitive.

History and etymology of insensitive

The adjective 'insensitive' can be traced back to the Latin word 'insensibilis,' which is a combination of 'in,' meaning 'not,' and 'sensibilis,' derived from 'sentire,' meaning 'to feel' or 'to perceive.' Thus, 'insensitive' originally denoted a lack of the ability to feel or perceive. Over time, its meaning evolved to describe individuals or actions that lack empathy, tact, or consideration for the feelings and sensitivities of others. This term aptly captures the notion of emotional or social detachment, emphasizing the absence of a sensitive and compassionate approach in interactions with others.

Quiz: Find the meaning of insensitive

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Further usage examples of insensitive

1. It is important to avoid making insensitive assumptions about someone's background or experiences.
2. The politician's insensitive remarks towards a marginalized community sparked widespread outrage.
3. The teacher's insensitive grading system failed to consider the unique challenges faced by certain students.
4. The insensitive portrayal of a sensitive issue in the film received criticism from audiences.
5. She regretted her insensitive choice of words and quickly apologized for any offense caused.
6. His insensitive remark hurt her deeply during the argument.
7. The insensitive comment created an awkward atmosphere.
8. She found his behavior at the funeral incredibly insensitive.
9. Being insensitive to others' pain is not acceptable.
10. The manager's decision was seen as callous and insensitive.
11. His insensitive jokes crossed the line of good taste.
12. The movie's portrayal of mental illness was criticized as insensitive.
13. It's crucial to avoid insensitive language in sensitive situations.
14. Her insensitive attitude toward the homeless was disheartening.
15. He regretted his insensitive response to her vulnerability.
16. The insensitive portrayal of a tragedy in the media was offensive.
17. Being insensitive to cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings.
18. The insensitive treatment of animals raised ethical concerns.
19. The boss's insensitive criticism demoralized the team.
20. The insensitive behavior of the guest disrupted the party.
21. Her insensitive gossip about a coworker was hurtful.
22. The politician's remarks were perceived as insensitive to minorities.
23. Insensitive actions can damage relationships irreparably.
24. The teacher's insensitive remark upset the entire class.
25. An insensitive response can worsen someone's emotional state.



unfeeling, empathetic, sensitive, compassionate


ACT 13 (American College Testing), High School 16, Empathy and Compassion

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