sense Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sense” in the English Dictionary

"sense" in British English

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sensenoun

uk   us   /sens/
  • sense noun (ABILITY)

B2 [C] an ​ability to ​understand, ​recognize, ​value, or ​react to something, ​especially any of the five ​physicalabilities to ​see, ​hear, ​smell, ​taste, and ​feel: With her ​excellent sense ofsmell, she could ​tell if you were a ​smoker from the other ​side of the ​room. My ​cold is so ​bad I've lost my sense ofsmell/​taste (= I can't ​smell/​taste anything).B1 [C or U] a ​generalfeeling or ​understanding: Did you get any sense of how they might ​react? The ​helicoptershoveringoverheadadded to the sense ofurgency.sense of fun the ​ability to ​enjoylife and not be too ​serious: Don't be ​angry - it was just a ​joke - where's ​your sense of ​fun?sense of humour B1 yourability to ​understandfunny things: She has a really good sense of ​humour. We have the same sense of ​humour. Come on, ​lighten up! Where's ​your sense of ​humour?sense of occasion UK the ​feelingpeople have when there is a very ​importantevent or ​celebration: The ​decorations, ​flowers, and ​crowds gave the ​town a ​real sense of ​occasion.

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  • sense noun (GOOD JUDGMENT)

B2 [U] the ​characteristic of having good ​judgment, ​especially when it is ​based on ​practicalideas or ​understanding: [+ to infinitive] I ​hope they'll have the (good) sense/have enough sense toshut the ​windows before they ​leave. It makes (good) sense tobuy a ​bigpack because it ​works out ​cheaper in the end. [+ -ing verb] There's no sense inwaiting (= it is not ​practical to ​wait) - the next ​train isn't for two ​hours. Where's/What's the sense (= what is the ​advantage) inpaying someone when you could get a ​volunteer? Planning so ​farahead makes no sense - so many things will have ​changed by next ​year.senses [plural] the ​ability to use good ​judgment: Have you taken ​leave of/​lostyour senses? (= Have you ​lostyourability to make a good ​judgment?) It's ​time you came toyour senses (= ​started to use ​your good ​judgment) and ​realized that they are not going to ​help you. The ​accident brought him to his senses (= ​caused him to use his good ​judgment again) and made him ​stopdrinking.

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  • It would make sense to go ​later in the ​year when it's ​warmer.
  • At least they had the sense to take some ​warmclothing.
  • There's no sense in ​buying something we have already.
  • I ​try to ​instil a little sense into the ​child.
  • Why is Jack making the ​arrangements when he's not ​even coming? Where's the sense in that?
  • sense noun (MEANING)

B2 [C] one of the ​possiblemeanings of a word or phrase: They are not ​immigrants, at least not in any sense that I ​understand. The ​packaging is ​green - in both senses of the word (= it is ​green in ​colour and it is good for the ​environment). Security ​defined in the ​broad/​broadest sense of the ​termmeans getting at the ​rootcauses of ​trouble and ​helping to ​reduceregionalconflicts. This ​passage doesn't make (any) sense (= the ​meaning is not ​clear). I've ​read the ​lettertwice, but I can't make (any) sense of it (= I can't ​understand it).in every sense in every way or ​feature: It's a ​book which is, in every sense, about different ​ways of ​seeing the ​world.in a sense C1 (also in one sense) thinking about something in one way, but not in every way: She ​claims that the ​system is at ​fault and she's ​right, in a sense (= she is ​partlyright).in no sense not at all: We are in no sense ​obliged to ​agree to this.

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senseverb [T]

uk   us   /sens/
C2 to ​feel or ​experience something without being ​able to ​explainexactly how: Although she said nothing, I could sense her ​anger He sensed something was about to ​happen. [+ (that)] He sensed (that) his ​guests were ​bored, ​although they were ​listeningpolitely. [+ question word] Could you sense what was ​likely to ​happen?

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  • Although they said nothing, she could sense ​theirdisapproval of her ​suggestion.
  • I sensed that she wasn't ​happy there.
  • She said nothing but I could sense her ​resentment.
  • I could just sense that something was ​wrong.
  • I sensed that he had something to ​tell me.
(Definition of sense from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sense" in American English

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sensenoun

 us   /sens/
  • sense noun (JUDGMENT)

the ​ability to make ​reasonablejudgments: [U] If the ​boy had any sense he would be ​scared. [U] You ought to have more sense than to get ​involved with him. [pl] Have you taken ​leave of ​your senses?
  • sense noun (BODY POWER)

biology [C] any of the five ​physicalabilities to ​see, ​hear, ​smell, ​taste, and ​feel
  • sense noun (AWARENESS)

[C usually sing] an ​awareness of something, or an ​ability to do or ​understand something: I have a very ​bad sense of ​direction. [C usually sing] A sense of ​humor is the ​ability to ​understand and ​enjoyjokes and ​amusingsituations, or to make ​peoplelaugh: Matt has a ​great sense of ​humor.
  • sense noun (FEELING)

[C] a ​feeling about something: They move with a sense of ​confidence. Students need some sense of ​responsibility.
  • sense noun (MEANING)

English [C] a ​meaning of a word or phrase: This isn’t a ​travelbook in the ​usual sense of the word.

senseverb [T]

 us   /sens/
  • sense verb [T] (FEEL)

to ​feel or be ​aware of something: Although she said nothing, I could sense her ​anger. I sensed someone was ​approaching me from behind.
(Definition of sense from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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