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sensitive +‎ -ity


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌsɛnsɪˈtɪvɪti/, (rare) /ˈsɛnsɪvəti/
  • Audio (Southern England):(file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌsɛnsəˈtɪvəti/, (rare) /ˈsɛnsɪvəti/



sensitivity (countable and uncountable, plural sensitivities)

  1. The quality or state of being sensitive; sensitiveness.
    • 2019, Li Huang, James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, →DOI, page 3:
      In any event, the incident, and the media attention it attracted, highlights the sensitivity of language politics in Singapore and is reflective of the fact that this sensitivity extends to campus life.
    • 2022 February 9, Tom Allett, “The BTP's eyes and ears in the air”, in RAIL, number 950, page 50:
      Owing to sensitivities about the force's capabilities, Russell is unable to say how many drones BTP has, or where and when they operate. But he does confide that the force works hand in hand with the helicopter service, and its ability to deploy drones is getting quicker.
  2. (biology) The ability of an organism or organ to respond to external stimuli.
    • 2013 July-August, Fenella Saunders, “Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture”, in American Scientist:
      The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.
    1. (biology, medicine, of a pathogen) Vulnerability to medical treatment: Synonym of susceptibility.
      Derived terms: sensitivity testing
  3. (statistics) The probability, in a binary classification test, of a true positive being correctly identified.
    Coordinate term: specificity
  4. (electronics) The degree of response of an instrument to a change in an input signal.
    • 2023 June 5, Yvonne Gordon, “Microplastics found in every sample of water taken during Ocean Race”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Up to 1,884 microplastic particles were found per cubic metre of seawater in some locations, up to 18 times higher than in similar tests during the last Ocean Race, which ended in 2018. Scientists noted that the sensitivity of their instruments is now higher.
  5. (photography) The degree of response of a film etc. to light of a specified wavelength.



Derived terms



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