From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsensitivesen‧si‧tive /ˈsensətɪv/ ●●○ S3 W3 adjective 1 understanding peopleUNDERSTAND able to understand other people’s feelings and problems OPP insensitive a sensitive and intelligent young mansensitive to It’s made me much more sensitive to the needs of the disabled.2 easily offendedUPSET easily upset or offended by events or things that people say a very sensitive childsensitive about Laura’s sensitive about her weight.sensitive to Throughout her career she remained very sensitive to criticism.sensitive soul British English (=someone who is easily upset by small or unimportant things) → hypersensitive3 easily affectedFEEL HOT/COLD/TIRED ETC easily affected or damaged by something such as a substance or temperature Wetlands are environmentally sensitive areas. a baby’s sensitive skinsensitive to Older people tend to be very sensitive to cold. Increasing numbers of people are sensitive to cow’s milk.4 situation/subjectDIFFICULT a situation or subject that is sensitive needs to be dealt with very carefully, because it is secret or because it may offend people Abortion is a very sensitive issue. sensitive matters such as national security highly sensitive information► see thesaurus at secret5 reacting to changes reacting to very small changes in light, temperature, position etc a highly sensitive electronic cameralight-sensitive/heat-sensitive etc light-sensitive photographic paper6 art/music etcEXPRESS able to understand or express yourself through art, music, literature etc a very sensitive performance —sensitively adverb It is an issue which needs to be handled sensitively.
Examples from the Corpussensitive• Tell me if any of these spots are sensitive.• The dark, clean-shaven face was strong and proud, the mouth firm yet sensitive.• My brother pretends he's tough, but he's actually pretty sensitive.• My children are very sensitive about being treated in a patronising way.• I didn't realize that Lee was so sensitive about her family.• He's sensitive about his bad teeth, so try not to look at them.• Some people are just much more sensitive and perceptive in transmitting or receiving data than others.• Joel is such a sensitive boy.• The minister admitted that highly sensitive documents had been leaked to the press.• They would not explode for a rabbit or fox, but were sensitive enough for a human body.• They are fit for any tank and, not being sensitive even to temperature variations, are suitable plants for beginners.• Paul is too sensitive for this job. He can't take even the smallest criticism.• Underneath all that macho stuff, he's really a sensitive guy.• Your competitors may have access to the company intranet, so never discuss commercially sensitive issues on-line.• a sensitive musician• In summary, increasing evidence from many studies has pointed to a sensitive period that is significant to the bonding experience.• The administration claims that the documents contain information of a highly sensitive political nature.• This is a very sensitive recorder - it picks up every word you say.• The team is gathering information on the sensitive subject of child abuse.• I knew we were on sensitive territory.• It is very sensitive to calcium and does not do well in alkaline or hard water.• If you are a public figure you can't afford to be too sensitive to criticism.• A teenager used his personal computer to break into sensitive US Air Force files.• When it comes to broaching the subject I don't think there's any sensitive way to do it.sensitive to• My teeth are really sensitive to hot and cold.• Nurses have to be sensitive to patients' needs.sensitive about• As a young man he was very sensitive about his gawky looks.highly sensitive• The market is also highly sensitive because trading volumes are running close to 10-year lows.• Unlike the highly sensitive child, the defiant child has some physical characteristics that make a more aggressive approach possible.• Parents can help such highly sensitive children by showing them how to soothe themselves.• Managers need to handle highly sensitive direct contacts with clients.• In the Navy, Whitworth had access to highly sensitive information.• It can not be stressed too heavily that taking tissue samples was a highly sensitive matter.• They are consequently highly sensitive to any occurrence that might offend against this principle.• He seems highly sensitive to criticism in the press.• Infants are highly sensitive to the quality of adult attention.highly sensitive• The market is also highly sensitive because trading volumes are running close to 10-year lows.• Unlike the highly sensitive child, the defiant child has some physical characteristics that make a more aggressive approach possible.• Parents can help such highly sensitive children by showing them how to soothe themselves.• Managers need to handle highly sensitive direct contacts with clients.• It can not be stressed too heavily that taking tissue samples was a highly sensitive matter.• They are consequently highly sensitive to any occurrence that might offend against this principle.• He seems highly sensitive to criticism in the press.• Infants are highly sensitive to the quality of adult attention.From Longman Business Dictionarysensitivesen‧si‧tive /ˈsensətɪv/ adjective1very easily and quickly affected by changesMany economically sensitive companies have closed factories and cut their staff.We face fierce competition from imports and price-sensitive consumers (=customers who are likely to buy a product if the price goes down, and not buy it if the price rises).sensitive toA fall in bond prices discouraged investors from buying stocks that aresensitive to interest rates.2something that is sensitive is kept secret because it might be used to gain an advantageDuring the trial, the company argued that the documents containedsensitive trade secrets and should be kept confidential.Modern telecommunications technology means there is a greater risk thatsensitive information will be misused or stolen.3able to understand other people’s needs or particular problems etcLocal authorities will have to become morecustomer sensitive.Waste must be disposed of in an environmentally sensitive way.sensitive toWe’re sensitive to consumers’ needs and opinions.Origin sensitive (1300-1400) Old French sensitif, from Medieval Latin sensitivus, from Latin sensus; → SENSE1