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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 ?
When we use the terms liberal or conservative in place of neighbor or friend, or don't object when our leaders resort to violent imagery, we let ourselves get drawn into the senselessness.
It is exactly this understatement that brings the senselessness of religious and ethnic violence into focus.
The second incident was even more unsettling for its senselessness.
Live cricket Sky Sports 1, 7am CRICKET'S perplexing obsession with stats plumbed new depths of senselessness on Tuesday, and not courtesy of Sky Sports News, who usually take some trumping when it comes to the vapid statistic, writes .
Created in 1964 East Germany, The Adventures of Werner Holt is a classic movie on DVD about the senselessness of war.
The result is a reconstruction, an inquiry into the unreliable quality of memory, and, above all, a denunciation of the senselessness of all wars.
Toward the end of the film, Ben-Ner has the trainers reenact, and then read directly from the script, that central sequence from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in which Vladimir and Estragon amuse themselves with the senselessness of trying to hang themselves from the brittle branch of a tree, and instead one placates the other with something to eat.
The total senselessness of Gary Forster, his selfish, reckless stupidity and unforgivable disgraceful behaviour which has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled.
andldquo;Whatever the reasons, European pressure or whatever else, the main thing is that they [Washington] no longer push ahead with their previous ferociousness and senselessness," he said in Havana, where he held talks with Cuban leaders.
According to twentieth-century existentialist philosophy, the universe as we know it is steeped in senselessness, and the only possible means of survival is the construction of subjective meaning.
One young woman, though, has stayed in my mind for the utter senselessness of her case.
The cynicism of this attempt to connect Pakistan's crisis with anti-immigrant sentiment was compounded by its astonishing senselessness.