Definition of sensation in English:


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  • 1A physical feeling or perception resulting from something that happens to or comes into contact with the body.

    ‘a burning sensation in the middle of the chest’
    • ‘Does my body remember the physical sensation of holding an item, and transfer this feeling to the virtual environment, though my mind has since forgotten?’
    • ‘Let your mind be quiet, and observe the sensations of your physical body - blood flow, heartbeat, lungs moving, an itch.’
    • ‘Putting the glass back down on the table, he let his gaze settle on Ali as she leant back in her chair, closing her eyes and shuddering slightly as the burning sensation spread throughout her body.’
    • ‘Just as the physical sensation of pain lets us know that something is wrong with our bodies, so our feelings let us know when something is wrong with out hearts.’
    • ‘For example, moving slowly and steadily while lifting weights helps you pay attention to body sensations and spot pain before you're injured.’
    • ‘It connects the physical sensation of pain to feelings of distress.’
    • ‘We begin to notice that while we thought we were paying attention to our abdomen, we were not actually aware of the literal physical sensations of this part of our body.’
    • ‘This consists of introspection focused on concerned body parts and/or problematic physical sensations.’
    • ‘They were then flooded with white light and felt a tingling sensation go through their bodies.’
    • ‘That is, how is this understanding of the relation between mind and body supposed to explain our having the particular sensations, or perceptions, of things that we do have?’
    • ‘We note, perhaps, sensations passing through our bodies, pressure, warmth and coolness, lightness, tingling.’
    • ‘Common characteristics of esophageal pain include sensations of burning, pressing, stabbing, or gripping.’
    • ‘My flesh quickly becoming alive with electric sensations, my body cries out as the pain increases.’
    • ‘Cold and wet were two of the only physical sensations he could feel… aside from pain.’
    • ‘In the early stages of addiction, users typically report relatively slight physical sensations, euphoria and laughter.’
    • ‘The relative said Mollick said she felt burning sensations about her body, but did not realise that she was shot until she saw her blood.’
    • ‘Sleep was a short reprieve from the burning sensation that filled her body and the emptiness of her mind.’
    • ‘And even now, a year on, I can still recall those feelings of fear and self-doubt - even down to the physical sensation of my stomach twisting into knots.’
    • ‘Many unusual sensations may occur: perceptions of light are common along with a feeling of floating or lightness in the limbs.’
    • ‘As the finger connected with the middle of my forehead, however, a burning sensation began there, sending a chill up and down my spine.’
    1. 1.1The capacity to have physical sensations.
      ‘they had lost sensation in one or both forearms’
      • ‘In the case of sensation, the capacity for perception in the sense organ is actualized by the operation on it of the perceptible object.’
      • ‘That feels or is capable of feeling; having the power or function of sensation or of perception by the senses.’
      • ‘In perception and in sensation, consciousness need not reside in the intentional objects of awareness in order for the state of awareness to be conscious.’
      • ‘He then gradually lost sensation in his right arm, hand and leg, with marked motor disability of his right hand, and developed dizziness.’
      • ‘He suddenly lost all sensation in his legs and tried his best to see what had happened to him.’
      • ‘There is also almost always a marked improvement in the feeling in the limbs which have often lost sensation.’
      • ‘The effect is most obvious in those parts of the brain concerned with movement, sensation, speech and vision, which are situated close together.’
      • ‘He also co-authored an introductory text on the study of sensation and perceptual processes.’
      • ‘We have been talking about the intentionality of consciousness, the role of sensation in perception, and so on.’
      • ‘By bypassing the normal hearing apparatus it provides an artificial hearing sensation to deaf people.’
      • ‘On the stronger understanding, Condillac meant to say that sensation produces all of the other capacities of the soul.’
      • ‘I had full sensation - an absolute torment when you can't scratch an itch or move a cramped limb.’
      • ‘There are lovely passages that evoke the original's themes of memory, loss, sensation, nature, and the ability of art to make all of this clear.’
      • ‘The knockout mice had greatly reduced touch sensitivity when compared to normal mice, but touch sensation did not disappear entirely.’
      • ‘There are particular parts of the cerebral cortex related to sensation and perception, and areas that enter into the planning, beginning, and control of movement.’
      • ‘In an information-processing approach there are no clear lines of demarcation between sensation, perception, and cognition.’
      • ‘Perception without sensation is rare, according to Humphrey.’
      • ‘And these days, the most popular sensation is that of smell - especially when you're around politics.’
      • ‘This method for measuring the perception of respiratory sensation may be a viable alternative to the bronchial provocation test.’
      • ‘Modern urban societies are increasingly mental and decreasingly emotion, perception and sensation oriented.’
    2. 1.2An inexplicable awareness or impression.
      with clause ‘she had the eerie sensation that she was being watched’
      • ‘A toxic cloud at the edge of awareness, a sensation that something is amiss?’
      • ‘Just the eerie sensation that was present in the creepy scenery.’
      • ‘Rick felt massive electromagnetic fields in several rooms in Duff Green, a sensation that confirms to him the presence of paranormal activity.’
      • ‘Instead, it presents the listener with the sensation that this work is being created anew.’
      • ‘What a strange sensation that was for me, my quiet, gentle father being part of the greatest invasion force in history.’
      • ‘And again, I have the odd sensation that you are not disagreeing.’
      • ‘And few of us have not been tempted by harmless superstition: a sensation that something may have happened for a purpose.’
      • ‘I haven't been able to suspend that feeling I had in Europe of not-knowingness, a sensation that I enjoyed at the time.’
      • ‘All he can do is note the general sensation that he is part of something exceptional and overwhelming, something not he, nor anyone else, is prepared to take in.’
      • ‘I had the distinct sensation that I was a puppet of an addictive manipulator, that there was a kind of sinister hand which was forcing me in directions that I didn't like.’
      • ‘The dream and aftermath are always the same; a field of sorts, a path and the sensation that he's walking down the path at a great speed.’
      • ‘Shades, like iPods, give you the gratifying sensation that you are starring in your own movie - not to mention a host of other exclusive benefits.’
      • ‘The sensation that they are being pressured to attack rather than persuaded to attack is - and should be - profoundly discomforting.’
      • ‘Some individuals also experience extreme hallucinations, such as the sensation that there are bugs crawling beneath the skin.’
      • ‘But as even the tiniest elements of our small talk have to be translated, I'm gripped by the giddy sensation that the world has just ground to a halt.’
      • ‘This would have been appropriate had it not been for the nagging sensation that the emptiness should be credited to the actor and not the character.’
      • ‘Sometimes I have the sensation that I've known it already.’
      • ‘I like the sensation that you are never completely safe.’
      • ‘As I wandered on and sat in those seats and stared at that coffee machine and those notice boards, I had the strange sensation that none of us had ever left.’
      • ‘And an unusual sensation that I've stepped out of a lift onto the wrong floor.’
      feeling, sense, awareness, consciousness, perception, impression, tickle, tingle, prickle
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  • 2A widespread reaction of interest and excitement.

    ‘his arrest for poisoning caused a sensation’
    • ‘To say this book caused a sensation is to understate its impact.’
    • ‘Her case caused a sensation earlier in the year and outraged her parents.’
    • ‘It naturally caused a sensation and there was a temporary surge of interest.’
    • ‘Darwin caused a sensation when he published the work in 1871.’
    • ‘But the British Museum caused a sensation in the early 1800s when it dared display the Elgin Marbles.’
    commotion, stir, uproar, furore, outrage, scandal, impact
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    1. 2.1A person, object, or event that arouses widespread interest and excitement.
      ‘she was a sensation, the talk of the evening’
      • ‘Each dish is an unprecedented sensation, and the idea of ever again considering eating anything I'd previously thought of as food quickly becomes absurd.’
      • ‘The contrast of salty cheese, sweet honey and nutty toasted bread is a taste sensation.’
      • ‘The Czechs, meanwhile, saw their dreams dashed by this month's sensations, Greece.’
      • ‘From budgets to the instability of nature, Burden of Dreams was destined to be less of a cinematic sensation and more of a pragmatic motion picture.’
      • ‘The pictures of the classless luxury liners were a sensation.’
      great success, sell-out, triumph, star attraction, talking point
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/senˈsāSHən/ /sɛnˈseɪʃən/


Early 17th century from medieval Latin sensatio(n-), from Latin sensus (see sense).