Definition of sensual in English:

sensual

Syllabification: sen·su·al
Pronunciation: /ˈsenSHo͞oəl
 
/

adjective

  • Of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure: the production of the ballet is sensual and passionate
    More example sentences
    • She introduced him to sensual and sexual pleasure, but her continued liaisons caused him pain.
    • She took an almost sensual pleasure in snow, rubbing her nose in it, eating it, tossing it in the air, dancing in it.
    • His films generally concern the cruel power of obsessional love and the need for sensual pleasure.
    Synonyms
    physical, carnal, bodily, fleshly, animal; hedonistic, epicurean, sybaritic, voluptuarysexually attractive, sexy, voluptuous, sultry, seductive, passionate; sexually arousing, erotic, sexual

Derivatives

sensualism

Pronunciation: /-ˌlizəm/
noun
More example sentences
  • Even in the Islam of the most ascetic desert Muslims there is a strand of sensualism: even renunciation is desired because of its immediate or eventual material bounty.
  • I love Whole Foods because it presents itself as a feast of sensualism, rather than dour vegetarianism or consumerism.
  • A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

sensualize

verb
More example sentences
  • ‘Finally, we move to ‘perceptualized’ Internetworks, where the data has been sensualized, that is, rendered sensually.
  • Thus Kant summarized the famous dispute between Leibniz and Locke in the following way: Leibniz intellectualised appearances, just as Locke sensualised the concepts of the understanding.
  • Shot in black and white, it looks beautiful for a digital film. It does feel truly cinematic, with its sensualised New Zealand landscapes appearing sometimes in dim, dream-like light.

sensually

adverb
More example sentences
  • They indulge themselves selfishly, sensually, with no thought of the consequences for us.
  • Fortunately, it is at times like this, that I'm glad I'm a rare househusband amid a sea of housewives - because when I felt someone sensually rubbing against the back of my leg, my mind filled with all sorts of delightful possibilities.
  • This time last year I was living a life centred on myself, on things that would give me instant gratification and were sensually pleasurable.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'sensory'): from late Latin sensualis, from sensus (see sense).

Usage

The words sensual and sensuous are frequently used interchangeably to mean ‘gratifying the senses,’ especially in a sexual sense. Strictly speaking, this goes against a traditional distinction, by which sensuous is a more neutral term, meaning ‘relating to the senses rather than the intellect’ ( swimming is a beautiful, sensuous experience ), while sensual relates to gratification of the senses, especially sexually ( a sensual massage ). In fact, the word sensuous is thought to have been invented by John Milton (1641) in a deliberate attempt to avoid the sexual overtones of sensual. In practice, the connotations are such that it is difficult to use sensuous in Milton’s sense. While traditionalists struggle to maintain a distinction, the evidence suggests that the neutral use of sensuous is rare in modern English. If a neutral use is intended, it is advisable to use alternative wording.

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