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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 classic literature ?
Sensuality, mockery of all religion, and the grossest corruption, are far from uncommon.
In Italy, to be sure, the light of the Renaissance had its palpable shadow; in breaking away from the medieval bondage into the unhesitating enjoyment of all pleasure, the humanists too often overleaped all restraints and plunged into wild excess, often into mere sensuality.
Yet the spirit can for the time pervade and control every member and function of the body, and transmute what in form is the grossest sensuality into purity and devotion.
All sensuality is one, though it takes many forms; all purity is one.
We discourse freely without shame of one form of sensuality, and are silent about another.
Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
Those then who know not wisdom and virtue, and are always busy with gluttony and sensuality, go down and up again as far as the mean; and in this region they move at random throughout life, but they never pass into the true upper world; thither they neither look, nor do they ever find their way, neither are they truly filled with true being, nor do they taste of pure and abiding pleasure.
We have found out fine names to cover our sensuality withal, but no gifts can raise intemperance.
If we mention it with favour we may be regarded, however unjustly, as the advocate of savages, satyrs, and pure sensuality.
Her cheeks were thin and hollow, her eyes a little too prominent, some hidden expression which seemed at times to flit from one to the other of her features suggested a sensuality which was a little incongruous with her somewhat angular figure and generally cold demeanour.
not Luxury, Sensuality, Dissoluteness, which they often stand for, but the three dry letters.
The book is a guide on relationships, beauty and sensuality.