1. deficient in human sensibility, acuteness of feeling, or consideration; unfeeling; callous: an insensitive person.
  2. not physically sensitive: insensitive skin.
  3. not affected by physical or chemical agencies or influences: insensitive to light.
  4. not readily responsive or aware: insensitive to the needs of the peasants.


  1. lacking sensitivity; unfeeling
  2. lacking physical sensation
  3. (postpositive foll by to) not sensitive (to) or affected (by)insensitive to radiation

c.1600, “having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one’s senses,” from in- (1) “not, opposite of” + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning “without consideration for the feelings of others” attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.

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