- the ability of the nerves and the brain to receive and react to stimuli, as light, sound, impact, constriction, etc.; specif., any of five faculties of receiving impressions through specific bodily organs and the nerves associated with them (sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing)
- the senses considered as a total function of the bodily organism, as distinguished from intellect, movement, etc.
- feeling, impression, or perception through the senses: a sense of warmth, pain, etc.
- a generalized feeling, awareness, or realization: a sense of longing
- an ability to judge, discriminate, or estimate external conditions, sounds, etc.: a sense of direction, pitch, etc.
- an ability to feel, appreciate, or understand some quality: a sense of humor, honor, etc.
- ability to think or reason soundly; normal intelligence and judgment, often as reflected in behavior
- soundness of judgment or reasoning: some sense in what he says
- something wise, sound, or reasonable: to talk sense
- [pl.] normal ability to reason soundly: to come to one's senses
- meaning; esp., any of several meanings conveyed by or attributed to the same word or phrase
- essential signification; gist: to grasp the sense of a remark
- the general opinion, sentiment, or attitude of a group
- Math. either of two contrary directions that may be specified, as clockwise or counterclockwise for the circumference of a circle, positive or negative for a line segment, etc.
Origin of senseFrench sens from Classical Latin sensus from sentire, to feel, perceive: see send
transitive verbsensed, sens′ing
- to be or become aware of: to sense another's hostility
- to comprehend; understand
- to detect automatically, as by sensors
in a sense
- to a limited extent or degree
- in one aspect
make sense of