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English definition of “sensitive”

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sensitive

adjective uk   /ˈsen.sɪ.tɪv/ us    /-sə.t̬ɪv/

sensitive adjective (UPSET)

B2 easily upset by the things people say or do, or causing people to be upset, embarrassed, or angry: Her reply showed that she was very sensitive to criticism. He was very sensitive about his scar and thought everyone was staring at him.B2 A sensitive subject, situation, etc. needs to be dealt with carefully in order to avoid upsetting people: Sex education and birth control are sensitive issues. The stolen car contained military documents described as very sensitive.
More examples
  • Don't be so sensitive!
  • She's very sensitive about her weight.
  • He's very sensitive to criticism of his children.
  • I have to be very careful with what I say because she's so sensitive.
  • If I'd known how sensitive she was I wouldn't have made the remark.

sensitive adjective (KIND)

B2 understanding what other people need, and being helpful and kind to them: Representatives of the company claim their plan will be sensitive to local needs. In the movie, he plays a concerned and sensitive father trying to bring up two teenage children on his own.
More examples

sensitive adjective (REACTING EASILY)

B2 easily influenced, changed, or damaged, especially by a physical activity or effect: Some people's teeth are highly sensitive to cold. sensitive skinB2 Sensitive equipment is able to record small changes: The patient's responses are recorded on a sensitive piece of equipment which gives extremely accurate readings.
-sensitive
suffix uk   /-sen.sɪ.tɪv/ us    /-sə.t̬ɪv/
light-/heat-sensitive
sensitively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
This is a very delicate situation and it needs to be handled sensitively.
sensitiveness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
(Definition of sensitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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