sensitive Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sensitive” in the English Dictionary

"sensitive" in British English

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sensitiveadjective

uk   /ˈsen.sɪ.tɪv/  us   /-sə.t̬ɪv/
  • sensitive adjective (UPSET)

B2 easilyupset by the things ​people say or do, or ​causingpeople to be ​upset, ​embarrassed, or ​angry: Her ​replyshowed that she was very sensitive tocriticism. 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 ​avoidupsettingpeople: Sex ​education and ​birthcontrol are sensitive issues. The ​stolencarcontainedmilitarydocumentsdescribed as very sensitive.

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  • 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 ​companyclaimtheirplan will be sensitive tolocalneeds. In the ​movie, he ​plays a ​concerned and sensitive ​fathertrying to ​bring up two ​teenagechildren on his own.

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  • sensitive adjective (REACTING EASILY)

B2 easilyinfluenced, ​changed, or ​damaged, ​especially by a ​physicalactivity or ​effect: Some people's ​teeth are ​highly sensitive tocold. sensitive skinB2 Sensitive ​equipment is ​able to ​recordsmallchanges: The patient's ​responses are ​recorded on a sensitive ​piece of ​equipment which gives ​extremelyaccuratereadings.
-sensitive
suffix uk   /-sen.sɪ.tɪv/  us   /-sə.t̬ɪv/
light-/heat-sensitive
sensitively
adverb uk   us   /-li/
This is a very ​delicatesituation and it ​needs to be ​handled sensitively.
sensitiveness
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/
(Definition of sensitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sensitive" in American English

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sensitiveadjective

 us   /ˈsen·sə·t̬ɪv/
  • sensitive adjective (UNDERSTANDING)

having or ​showingawareness and ​understanding, esp. of other people’s ​feelings and ​needs: My ​experience made me very sensitive to the ​suffering of ​others.
  • sensitive adjective (UPSET)

(of a ​person) ​easilyupset: Tom is ​extremely sensitive about his ​hair. She’s very sensitive to ​criticism.
  • sensitive adjective (REACTING EASILY)

easilyinfluenced, ​changed, or ​damaged, esp. by a ​physicalactivity or ​effect: an ​environmentally sensitive ​river Their ​productsincludecleansers and ​moisturizers for sensitive ​skin.
  • sensitive adjective (NEEDING CAREFUL TREATMENT)

needing to be ​treated with ​care or ​secrecy: Raising ​fuelprices can be a sensitive ​issue.
(Definition of sensitive from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sensitive" in Business English

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sensitiveadjective

uk   us   /ˈsensɪtɪv/
easily ​influenced or affected by something: This ​sector is more likely to be more price sensitive than the ​domesticsector. economically sensitivesensitive to sth Investors were ​increasingly sensitive to ​interestrates.
used to describe a ​subject, ​situation, etc. that ​needs to be dealt with carefully or ​keptsecret: The ​secretservice has ​acknowledged that there's ​classified and sensitive ​information that they are not able to tell the ​public. sensitive ​documents sensitive ​email
understanding what other ​people need, and being helpful to them: sensitive to sth A ​localboard could be more sensitive to the ​educationneeds of ​students.
(Definition of sensitive from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sensitive” in Business English

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