Definition of insensible in English:


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  • 1usually as complement Without one's mental faculties, typically a result of violence or intoxication; unconscious.

    ‘they knocked each other insensible with their fists’
    • ‘insensible with drink’
    • ‘In the summer, Saturday would bring a golf tournament, and the slugging back of cans on the course to maintain his equilibrium, before another night of drinking himself insensible, sometimes accompanied by bed-wetting.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, go read some of the fine blogs at the side there, and I'll just nip off and quietly drink myself insensible in the hiatus.’
    • ‘Nilsen made sure the men he killed were insensible from drink before he strangled them, and wrote tenderly about them after the killing was over.’
    • ‘I go out and become insensible with drink and end up in hospital.’
    • ‘For those who like stories of brave lads surviving training then doing their bit blowing up bridges, knifing the Hun and drinking themselves insensible while on leave, then this is for you.’
    • ‘Although best watched when insensible with drink, The Adventures Of Grey Boab is as shamefully hypnotic as a car crash.’
    • ‘With VeriChip all a crook would have to do is render a holder insensible - hardly difficult in a nightclub - and free drinks are theirs for the night.’
    • ‘While hypnotized, the client generally hears and remembers much of what is being spoken, is not completely insensible during the session and can freely choose to disregard any suggestions the hypnotherapist makes.’
    • ‘Apparently, he is a rather high-level alcoholic, insensible between takes, though perfectly clear when required on cam.’
    • ‘At about 9:10 am, two workers were found insensible in their dormitory on Jingyuan Lu.’
    • ‘And I thought the whole point of going to the pub was to become insensible.’
    • ‘They take me, insensible, up the ladder to their prison and have me tied down in boxes where the winter wind comes in the gaps and freezes them.’
    • ‘Once having imbibed too much liquor he became sleepy and insensible.’
    • ‘The sudden sensory deprivation is not going to render a grown man or even small child insensible and throw them into fits of panic.’
    • ‘This would make me woozy and two glasses would render me insensible.’
    • ‘Some are in jail, some are medicated insensible, some are living lives of dangerous poverty.’
    • ‘He was taken to see the doctors but fell into a coma and was insensible for three months.’
    • ‘They were thrown out of a pony carriage and Sir Watkins Wynn was picked up insensible.’
    • ‘Also, if there is a means of rendering an animal insensible before cutting, then surely this is what is required in a compassionate society.’
    unconscious, insensate, senseless, insentient, comatose, knocked out, passed out, blacked out, inert, stupefied, stunned
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    1. 1.1(especially of a body or bodily extremity) numb; without feeling.
      ‘the horny and insensible tip of the beak’
      • ‘At the moment, he was almost insensible with fatigue.’
      • ‘This operation gives not the least pain to the bird, the point of the hook merely taking hold in the horny and insensible tip of the bill.’
      deprived of sensation, without feeling, numbed, benumbed, dead, deadened, desensitized, insensible, insensate, senseless, unfeeling
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  • 2insensible of/topredicative Unaware of or indifferent to.

    ‘they slept on, insensible to the headlight beams’
    • ‘It doesn't render them unconscious or make them insensible to pain.’
    • ‘The pioneer is insensible to arguments touching the future supply… The want of foresight that permitted the destruction of these magnificent forests will be bitterly lamented.’
    • ‘In the process of impressionistically conveying that Jim seems acted upon by occult forces that render him insensible to reason, Marlow is himself diverted from his narrative intent.’
    • ‘The choreography keeps this single-mindedness through the four sections of Lou Harrison's score: often, the dancers seem to work at staying insensible of those nearby, yet their movements coordinate perfectly with others.’
    • ‘Her outstanding flaw is the ability to be totally insensible to the feelings of others.’
    • ‘Another brother slumped on the floor, insensible to the fact that he was sitting in his mother's blood.’
    • ‘I sometimes catch myself wondering what the world will be like after I am dead and trying to tell myself that it will not matter because I will be insensible to it.’
    • ‘Few lads could have been more insensible to the impressions of a life thus passed among the ensigns of mortality.’
    • ‘But Gillray is not insensible to the ironies of human existence, and if he is patriotically attached to the values that he believes make his country the superior of its enemies, he is certainly no xenophobe.’
    • ‘They are insensible to their own external effects, those they produce in other domains.’
    • ‘She is utterly insensible to the fact that Henry's scandal might affect her in any way.’
    • ‘She was quite insensible to the tone in which I had spoken; she went on from bad to worse.’
    • ‘Not a teenybopper in the country was insensible to Charlie Simpson's departure from Busted, and while their hopes soared, critics of the band began to queue up to slate them before they had even touched their instruments.’
    • ‘By harping constantly only on the scenario in which guns may actually prove to be useful and can legitimately be used, we appear as people who are grossly out of touch with, and insensible to, the real nature and extent of the problem.’
    • ‘This normally took the form of an excrescence or area of skin that was insensible to pain.’
    • ‘Peter Bell is a potter, a lawless, roving man, insensible to the beauty of nature.’
    unaware of, ignorant of, without knowledge of, unconscious of, unmindful of, mindless of, oblivious to
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  • 3Too small or gradual to be perceived; inappreciable.

    ‘varying by insensible degrees’
    • ‘The small or extremely immature infant < 1000 g will experience increased insensible water losses.’
    • ‘However, there are conditions that may increase so-called insensible losses through sites such as the skin.’
    • ‘Dehydration is particularly likely to occur in small children because of decreased intake during an extended period of respiratory distress, combined with increased insensible losses.’
    • ‘Rieff now contends that such an insensible change has become not a danger but an appalling fact.’
    imperceptible, unnoticeable, undetectable, indistinguishable, indiscernible, unapparent, inappreciable, invisible, inaudible, impalpable, unobtrusive, impossible to detect
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/inˈsensəb(ə)l/ /ɪnˈsɛnsəb(ə)l/


Late Middle English (also in the senses ‘unable to be perceived’ and ‘incapable of physical sensation’): partly from Old French insensible (from Latin insensibilis, from in- ‘not’ + sensibilis, from sensus ‘sense’), partly from in-‘not’ + sensible.