1. Having sense of feeling; possessing or exhibiting the capacity of receiving impressions from external objects; as, a sensitive soul.

2. Having quick and acute sensibility, either to the action of external objects, or to impressions upon the mind and feelings; highly susceptible; easily and acutely affected. "She was too sensitive to abuse and calumny." (Macaulay)

3. <chemistry> Readily affected or changed by certain appropriate agents; as, silver chloride or bromide, when in contact with certain organic substances, is extremely sensitive to actinic rays.

4. Serving to affect the sense; sensible. "A sensitive love of some sensitive objects." (Hammond)

5. Of or pertaining to sensation; depending on sensation; as, sensitive motions; sensitive muscular motions excited by irritation.

<botany> Sensitive fern A leguminous plant (Mimosa pudica, or M. Sensitiva, and other allied species), the leaves of which close at the slightest touch. Any plant showing motions after irritation, as the sensitive brier (Schrankia) of the Southern States, two common American species of Cassia (C. Nictitans, and C. Chamaecrista), a kind of sorrel (Oxalis sensitiva), etc. Sen"sitively, Sen"sitiveness.

Origin: F. Sensitif. See Sense.

(01 Mar 1998)