Definition for SENSE

SENSE, n. [sens; Fr. sens; It. senso; Sp. sentido; from L. sensus, from sentio, to feel or perceive; W. syniaw, id.; syn, sense, feeling, perception; G. sinn, sense, mind, intention; D. zin; Sw. sinne; Dan. sind, sands.]

  1. The faculty by which animals perceive external objects by means of impressions made on certain organs of the body. Sense is a branch of perception. The five senses of animals are, 1. special, as smell, sight, hearing, tasting; 2. common, as feeling.
  2. Sensation; perception by the senses. – Bacon.
  3. Perception by the intellect; apprehension; discernment. This Basilius, having the quick sense of a lover … – Sidney.
  4. Sensibility; quickness or acuteness of perception. – Shak.
  5. Understanding; soundness of faculties; strength of natural reason. Opprest nature sleeps; / This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses. – Shak.
  6. Reason; reasonable or rational meaning. He raves; his words are loose / As heaps of sand, and scattering wide from sense. – Dryden.
  7. Opinion; notion; judgment. I speak my private but impartial sense / With freedom. – Roscommon.
  8. Consciousness; conviction; as, a due sense of our weakness or sinfulness.
  9. Moral perception. Some are so hardened in wickedness, as to have no sense of the most friendly offices. – L'Estrange.
  10. Meaning; import; signification; as, the true sense of words or phrases. In interpretation, we are to examine whether words are to be understood in a literal or figurative sense. So we speak of a legal sense, a grammatical sense, an historical sense, &c. Common sense, that power of the mind which, by a kind of instinct, or a short process of reasoning, perceives truth, the relation of things, cause and effect, &c. and hence enables the possessor to discern what is right, useful, expedient or proper, and adopt the best means to accomplish his purpose. This power seems to be the gift of nature, improved by experience and observation. Moral sense, a determination of the mind to be pleased with the contemplation of those affections, actions or characters of rational agents, which are called good or virtuous. – Encyc.

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