Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of sense
Meaning of sense by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English, from Old French sens, sen, san ( “sense, reason, direction” ); partly from Latin sensus ( “sensation, feeling, meaning” ), from sentiō ( “feel, perceive” ); partly of Germanic origin ( whence also Occitan sen, Italian senno ), from Frankish *sinn ( “reason, judgement, mental faculty, way, direction” ), from Proto-Germanic *sinnaz ( “mind, meaning” ). Both Latin and Germanic from Proto-Indo-European *sent- ( “to feel” ). Compare French assener ( “to thrust out” ), forcené ( “maniac” ). More at send .


    • enPR: sĕns, IPA: /sɛns/, X-SAMPA: /sEns/
    • Rhymes: -ɛns


    sense ( plural: senses )

    1. One of the methods for a living being to gather data about the world; sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste .
    2. A general conscious awareness .
      a sense of security
    3. Sound practical judgment, as in common sense
    4. The meaning, reason, or value of something .
      You don’t make any sense .
    5. A natural appreciation or ability
      A keen musical sense
    6. ( pragmatics ) The way that a referent is presented .
    7. ( semantics ) A single conventional use of a word; one of the entries for a word in a dictionary .
    8. ( mathematics ) One of two opposite directions in which a vector ( especially of motion ) may point. See also polarity .
    9. ( mathematics ) One of two opposite directions of rotation, clockwise versus anti-clockwise .


    • See also Wikisaurus:sense

    Derived terms


    • frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words before 1923: cause · close · England · #420: sense · ten · beautiful · possible


Explanation of sense by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. comprehend

    2. I sensed the real meaning of his letter
    3. become aware of not through the senses but instinctively

    4. I sense his hostility
    5. perceive by a physical sensation, e.g., coming from the skin or muscles

    6. detect some circumstance or entity automatically

    7. This robot can sense the presence of people in the room
      particle detectors sense ionization
    1. sound practical judgment

    2. Common sense is not so common
      he hasn't got the sense God gave little green apples
      fortunately she had the good sense to run away
    3. the faculty through which the external world is apprehended

    4. in the dark he had to depend on touch and on his senses of smell and hearing
    5. a general conscious awareness

    6. a sense of security
      a sense of happiness
      a sense of danger
      a sense of self
    7. a natural appreciation or ability

    8. a keen musical sense
      a good sense of timing
    9. the meaning of a word or expression

    10. the dictionary gave several senses for the word
      in the best sense charity is really a duty

    Definition of sense by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Sense n. [L. sensus, from sentire, sensum, to perceive, to feel, from the same root as E. send; cf. OHG. sin sense, mind, sinnan to go, to journey, G. sinnen to meditate, to think: cf. F. sens. For the change of meaning cf. See, v. t. See Send, and cf. Assent, Consent, Scent, v. t., Sentence, Sentient.]
      1. ( Physiol. ) A faculty, possessed by animals, of perceiving external objects by means of impressions made upon certain organs ( sensory or sense organs ) of the body, or of perceiving changes in the condition of the body; as, “the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch”. See Muscular sense, under Muscular, and Temperature sense, under Temperature.

      Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep. Shak.

      What surmounts the reach

      Of human sense I shall delineate. Milton.

      The traitor Sense recalls

      The soaring soul from rest. Keble.

      2. Perception by the sensory organs of the body; sensation; sensibility; feeling.

      In a living creature, though never so great, the sense and the affects of any one part of the body instantly make a transcursion through the whole. Bacon.

      3. Perception through the intellect; apprehension; recognition; understanding; discernment; appreciation.

      This Basilius, having the quick sense of a lover. Sir P. Sidney.

      High disdain from sense of injured merit. Milton.

      4. Sound perception and reasoning; correct judgment; good mental capacity; understanding; also, that which is sound, true, or reasonable; rational meaning. “He speaks sense.” Shak.

      He raves; his words are loose

      As heaps of sand, and scattering wide from sense. Dryden.

      5. That which is felt or is held as a sentiment, view, or opinion; judgment; notion; opinion.

      I speak my private but impartial sense

      With freedom. Roscommon.

      The municipal council of the city had ceased to speak the sense of the citizens. Macaulay.

      6. Meaning; import; signification; as, “the true sense of words or phrases; the sense of a remark”.

      So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense. Neh. viii. 8.

      I think 't was in another sense. Shak.

      7. Moral perception or appreciation.

      Some are so hardened in wickedness as to have no sense of the most friendly offices. L' Estrange.

      8. ( Geom. ) One of two opposite directions in which a line, surface, or volume, may be supposed to be described by the motion of a point, line, or surface.

      Common sense, according to Sir W. Hamilton: “The complement of those cognitions or convictions which we receive from nature, which all men possess in common, and by which they test the truth of knowledge and the morality of actions.” “The faculty of first principles.” These two are the philosophical significations. “Such ordinary complement of intelligence, that,if a person be deficient therein, he is accounted mad or foolish.” When the substantive is emphasized: “Native practical intelligence, natural prudence, mother wit, tact in behavior, acuteness in the observation of character, in contrast to habits of acquired learning or of speculation.” -- Moral sense. See under Moral, -- The inner sense, or The internal sense, capacity of the mind to be aware of its own states; consciousness; reflection. “This source of ideas every man has wholly in himself, and though it be not sense, as having nothing to do with external objects, yet it is very like it, and might properly enough be called
      internal sense.” Locke. -- Sense capsule ( Anat. ), one of the cartilaginous or bony cavities which inclose, more or less completely, the organs of smell, sight, and hearing. -- Sense organ ( Physiol. ), a specially irritable mechanism by which some one natural force or form of energy is enabled to excite sensory nerves; as the eye, ear, an end bulb or tactile corpuscle, etc. -- Sense organule ( Anat. ), one of the modified epithelial cells in or near which the fibers of the sensory nerves terminate.

      Syn. -- Understanding; reason. -- Sense, Understanding, Reason. Some philosophers have given a technical signification to these terms, which may here be stated. Sense is the mind's acting in the direct cognition either of material objects or of its own mental states. In the first case it is called the outer, in the second the inner, sense. Understanding is the logical faculty, i. e., the power of apprehending under general conceptions, or the power of classifying, arranging, and making deductions. Reason is the power of apprehending those first or fundamental truths or principles which are the conditions of all real and scientific knowledge, and which control the mind in all its processes of investigation and deduction. These distinctions are given, not as established, but simply because they often occur in writers of the present day.

    2. Sense v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sensed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Sensing.] To perceive by the senses; to recognize. [Obs. or Colloq.]

      Is he sure that objects are not otherwise sensed by others than they are by him? Glanvill.