The adjectives sensible and sensitive are way too often confused with one another. The reason is probably the base word ‘sense’, which is mutual to both of them.

Let’s look at the meanings of these two words.

What does “sensible” mean?

The adjective sensible can be used in more than one way. However, its meaning is usually related to ‘common sense’; therefore, it means being reasonable, practical and showing good judgment.

For example:

  • People are very sensible about their diet and exercise nowadays.
  • Peter is a sensible boy. I doubt he would fight with other boys.
  • I believe that solar panels are a sensible source of energy.

What does “sensitive” mean?

A person who is capable of understanding other people’s feelings and problems is considered a sensitive person. Also, a sensitive person is someone who easily gets irritated or upset.

For example:

  • Mary is so sensitive to other people’s feelings. She cried when her neighbour’s cat died.
  • Tom’s sensitive about his weight, don’t ask him anything about it.
  • Although Laura has a successful career, she’s always been sensitive to criticism.

Sensible vs Sensitive

To sum up, we can say that a sensible person acts with common sense, while a sensitive person acts without it.

For example:

  • Behind that tough look, Sean is really a sensitive person.
  • Although Sally seems irresponsible and negligent, deep down inside she’s a sensible person.
Sensible and Sensitive
Sensible and Sensitive

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