Definition of


  1. (noun, cognition) sound practical judgment
    he hasn't got the sense God gave little green apples
    fortunately she had the good sense to run away
  2. (noun, cognition) the faculty through which the external world is apprehended
  3. (noun, cognition) a general conscious awareness
    a sense of happiness
    a sense of danger
    a sense of self
  4. (noun, cognition) a natural appreciation or ability
    a good sense of timing
  5. (noun, communication) the meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted
    in the best sense charity is really a duty
    the signifier is linked to the signified
  6. (verb, cognition) comprehend
  7. (verb, cognition) become aware of not through the senses but instinctively
    i smell trouble
    smell out corruption
  8. (verb, perception) perceive by a physical sensation, e.g., coming from the skin or muscles
    She felt an object brushing her arm
    He felt his flesh crawl
    She felt the heat when she got out of the car
  9. (verb, perception) detect some circumstance or entity automatically
    particle detectors sense ionization

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Sense

  1. c.1400, "faculty of perception," also "meaning or interpretation" (esp. of Holy Scripture), from O.Fr. sens, from L. sensus "perception, feeling, undertaking, meaning," from sentire "perceive, feel, know," prob. a fig. use of a lit. meaning "to find one's way," from PIE base *sent- "to go" (cf. O.H.G. sinnan "to go, travel, strive after, have … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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