Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Word of the day: insensate

The word of the day is insensate:

  1. not endowed with sensation; inanimate
  2. without human feeling or sensitivity; cold; cruel; brutal.
  3. without sense, understanding, or judgment; foolish.
1519, from L.L. insensatus "irrational, foolish," from L. in- "not" + sensatus "gifted with sense." Insensate means "not capable of feeling sensation," often "inanimate;" insensible means "lacking the power to feel with the senses," hence, often, "unconscious;" insensitive (1610), from M.L. sensitivus, means "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," often "tactless."


"The entity accumulating at the borders, the entity for which they were bracing and were even rousing themselves to greet with good will and good grace, seemed amorphous, undifferentiated, almost insensate—like a force of nature."

 - Martin Amis, "Oktober", 7 December 2015 The New Yorker (

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