Sensitivity has many shades of meaning but most relate to your response to your environment — either physical or emotional. Sensitivity to cold means you’re quick to notice the slightest chill — in the air or in another person’s actions.

A sensitivity to pollen means you’re sneezing any time it’s in the air — you just always seem to react to it. It’s the same with emotions — sensitivity means you pick up on the feelings of others. If you have great sensitivity to your classmates, then you’re aware of their needs and behave in a way that makes them feel good. If you introduce a new policy with sensitivity, that means you consider how others will react to it.

Definitions of sensitivity

n sensitivity to emotional feelings (of self and others)

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sensitivity leading to easy irritation or upset
refined sensitivity to pleasurable or painful impressions
emotional or moral sensitivity (especially in relation to personal principles or dignity)
insight, perceptiveness, perceptivity
a feeling of understanding
a sensuous feeling
Type of:
the experiencing of affective and emotional states

n the ability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment

insensitiveness, insensitivity
the inability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment
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antenna, feeler
sensitivity similar to that of a receptor organ
excessive sensitivity to criticism
the quality of insight and sympathetic understanding
bunker mentality
defensiveness resulting from repeated attacks
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the quality of being able to perform; a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment

n (physiology) responsiveness to external stimuli; the faculty of sensation

sensitivity to pain”
sensibility, sensitiveness
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a sensitivity that is keen and highly developed
extreme sensitivity
reactivity, responsiveness
responsive to stimulation
sensitivity to stimuli originating outside of the body
sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body
photosensitivity, radiosensitivity
sensitivity to the action of radiant energy
excitability, irritability
excessive sensitivity of an organ or body part
sight, vision, visual modality, visual sense
the ability to see; the visual faculty
cutaneous senses, sense of touch, skin senses, touch, touch modality
the faculty by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body (especially the hands)
audition, auditory modality, auditory sense, hearing, sense of hearing
the ability to hear; the auditory faculty
gustation, gustatory modality, sense of taste, taste
the faculty of distinguishing sweet, sour, bitter, and salty properties in the mouth
olfaction, olfactory modality, sense of smell, smell
the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents
the ability to sense the position and location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts
somaesthesia, somaesthesis, somataesthesis, somatesthesia, somatic sense, somatic sensory system, somatosensory system, somesthesia, somesthesis
the faculty of bodily perception; sensory systems associated with the body; includes skin senses and proprioception and the internal organs
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sensation, sense, sensory faculty, sentience, sentiency
the faculty through which the external world is apprehended

n the ability to respond to physical stimuli or to register small physical amounts or differences

“a galvanometer of extreme sensitivity
frequency response
(electronics) a curve representing the output-to-input ratio of a transducer as a function of frequency
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physical property
any property used to characterize matter and energy and their interactions

n susceptibility to a pathogen

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person's predisposition to be affected by something (as a disease)
sensitisation, sensitization
the state of being sensitive (as to an antigen)
pathological sensitivity
constitutional predisposition to a particular disease or abnormality
(pathology) abnormal sensitivity to stimulation
cryaesthesia, cryesthesia
hypersensitivity to cold
hypersensitivity reaction
an inappropriate and excessive reaction to an allergen (as pollen or dust or animal hair or certain foods); severity ranges from mild allergy to severe systemic reactions leading to anaphylactic shock
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susceptibility, susceptibleness
the state of being susceptible; easily affected

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