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faculty by which external or internal stimuli are conveyed to the brain centers, where they are registered as sensations. Sensory reception occurs in higher animals through a process known as transduction, in which stimuli are converted into nerve impulses and relayed to the brain. The four commonly known special senses (sight, hearing, smell, and taste) are concerned with the outer world, and external stimuli are received and conducted by sensory receptors concentrated in the eye, ear, olfactory organ, and the taste buds. The so-called somatic senses respond to both external and internal stimuli. Although most of the somatic receptors are located in the skin (conveying the external sensations of touch, heat, cold, pressure, and pain), others are located in internal organs (e.g., the heart and the stomach). Somatic sensations such as hunger, thirst, and fatigue are thought to originate in specific areas of the nervous system. The sense of balance, or equilibrium, is related to the flow of endolymph, a fluid found in the inner ear.



(1) The ideal content, the defining idea, or the final goal (value) of something, for example, the sense of life or the sense of history. The term “sense” may signify the entire content of some scientific, philosophic, or artistic statement, a content that cannot be reduced to the meanings of the parts and elements that make up the statement; the content itself determines these meanings. For example, the concepts of the sense of a work of art or the sense of an artistic image are equivalent to the concept of the artistic idea. The category of sense was treated in great detail in a number of trends of idealist philosophic thought in the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the doctrine of “understanding,” which originated with W. Dilthey. Understanding was held to be the specific method of the “sciences of the spirit,” that is, the humanities, which is based on intuitive comprehension and integral interpretation of the sense connections between various forms of human culture.

(2) In logic, see MEANING.

(3) In linguistics, a term sometimes used as a synonym for “meaning” but usually used to introduce an opposition to “meaning.” “Sense” may signify the aggregate of extralinguistic characteristics of content, as opposed to meaning, which is the generalization of the intralinguistic characteristics of content. The term may refer to the semantic characteristics of a whole utterance or text, as distinct from the meaning of a single word. Sense may signify the connotative aspect of the content of a word; meaning, on the other hand, signifies the denotative aspect. In some conceptions, sense is understood as the whole and meaning is viewed as the component part; in other conceptions, sense is seen as a component of meaning. In the sense-text model, sense is a concept that describes the global content of an utterance.


(computer science)
To read punched holes in tape or cards.
To determine the arrangement or position of a device or the value of a quantity.
The general direction from which a radio signal arrives; if a radio bearing is received by a simple loop antenna, there are two possible readings approximately 180° apart; the resolving of this ambiguity is called sensing of the bearing.


1. any of the faculties by which the mind receives information about the external world or about the state of the body. In addition to the five traditional faculties of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, the term includes the means by which bodily position, temperature, pain, balance, etc., are perceived
2. such faculties collectively; the ability to perceive
3. a feeling perceived through one of the senses
4. Maths one of two opposite directions measured on a directed line; the sign as contrasted with the magnitude of a vector
5. Logic linguistics
a. the import of an expression as contrasted with its referent. Thus the morning star and the evening star have the same reference, Venus, but different senses
b. the property of an expression by virtue of which its referent is determined
c. that which one grasps in understanding an expression


(human language)
A meaning of a word.
References in periodicals archive ?
Senseless act Almost 20 cars were targeted after a young thug went on a trail of destruction in Paisley's Greenock Road
The senseless policy on Israel continues to exist because the elite don't see any personal or institutional benefit in the relation.
Dunford, while denouncing Tuesday's incident in Khakrez district, said: "Our condolences go out to the loved ones affected by senseless violence.
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Judge Michael Mettyear told McMullan: "This was a horrendous and senseless killing.
Stop That Seemingly Senseless Behavior: FBA-Based Interventions for People with Autism" is a guide for parents and adults who deal with autistic children, seeking to help them better understand autism and the erratic behavior that comes along with it.
2 : stupid 2 <It seemed senseless to run away without money.
This was an unprovoked and senseless attack in which you knocked another man to the ground and kicked him repeatedly," he told Sargent.
Stephanie Livermore wrote: "Chris, Lee and Karen, Such a terrible and senseless loss of a lovely gentleman, our thoughts are with you all at this sad time.
Aw, c'mon, kids -- end your senseless bickering and proclaim your love already.