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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 ?
Making Sense of Science is divided into five chapters, which gradually transition from preparing readers to interpret scientific findings to exploring a host of issues associated with how scientific information is used and presented in the scientific community, the courts, marketing campaigns, politics, and other venues.
These two chapters jointly illustrate what is arguably Wedemeyer's best work within Making Sense. Sorensen rightly noted that chapter five "may be considered the scientific core of the book" (1) as it is clearly the book's strongest argument.
Making Sense of Radiation: a guide to radiation and its health effects
Prize: 1 x pair standard tickets to Stop Making Sense Festival, Fri 3-Mon 6 Sept, 2010.
She enhanced learning through interaction in a risk-free environment, encouraging students to take responsibility for making sense of the various mathematical tasks.
This week, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Stop Making Sense, EMI have re-issued the film's classic soundtrack.
This first book in the Making Sense of Managed Care series reviews the basic organizational building blocks and theoretical models fundamental to the integrated managed care environment.
In the dissertation for his December 2012 PhD at Delft University of Technology, Harteveld continues the study he began in his 2011 Triadic Game Design by describing the design of Levee Patroller, a game designed to train practitioners in making sense of flood risks.
"The Layman's Guide to Making Sense of Statistics" is John L.
The common document is followed from print to digital version in Scrolling Forward: Making Sense Of Documents In The Digital Age, considering its evolution from print to digital age and showing how all kinds of documents are rewritten when translated to digital form.
Under Part I are these chapters: (1) Making Sense of Nonverbal Communication; (2) Cultural Influences on Nonverbal Communication--Making Sense of Cultural Processes; (3) Social Influences on Nonverbal Communication--Making Sense of Social Processes; and (4) Psychological Influences on Nonverbal Communication--Making Sense of Psychological Processes.
The task of making sense of the raw information is formidable.