The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sense \Sense\, n. [L. sensus, from sentire, sensum, to perceive,
to feel, from the same root as E. send; cf. OHG. sin sense,
mind, sinnan to go, to journey, G. sinnen to meditate, to
think: cf. F. sens. For the change of meaning cf. See, v.
t. See Send, and cf. Assent, Consent, Scent, v. t.,
1. (Physiol.) A faculty, possessed by animals, of perceiving
external objects by means of impressions made upon certain
organs (sensory or sense organs) of the body, or of
perceiving changes in the condition of the body; as, the
senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. See
Muscular sense, under Muscular, and Temperature
sense, under Temperature.
Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep. --Shak.
What surmounts the reach
Of human sense I shall delineate. --Milton.
The traitor Sense recalls
The soaring soul from rest. --Keble.
2. Perception by the sensory organs of the body; sensation;
In a living creature, though never so great, the
sense and the affects of any one part of the body
instantly make a transcursion through the whole.
3. Perception through the intellect; apprehension;
recognition; understanding; discernment; appreciation.
This Basilius, having the quick sense of a lover.
High disdain from sense of injured merit. --Milton.
4. Sound perception and reasoning; correct judgment; good
mental capacity; understanding; also, that which is sound,
true, or reasonable; rational meaning. "He speaks sense."
He raves; his words are loose
As heaps of sand, and scattering wide from sense.
5. That which is felt or is held as a sentiment, view, or
opinion; judgment; notion; opinion.
I speak my private but impartial sense
With freedom. --Roscommon.
The municipal council of the city had ceased to
speak the sense of the citizens. --Macaulay.
6. Meaning; import; signification; as, the true sense of
words or phrases; the sense of a remark.
So they read in the book in the law of God
distinctly, and gave the sense. --Neh. viii.
I think 't was in another sense. --Shak.
7. Moral perception or appreciation.
Some are so hardened in wickedness as to have no
sense of the most friendly offices. --L' Estrange.
8. (Geom.) One of two opposite directions in which a line,
surface, or volume, may be supposed to be described by the
motion of a point, line, or surface.
Common sense, according to Sir W. Hamilton:
(a) "The complement of those cognitions or convictions
which we receive from nature, which all men possess in
common, and by which they test the truth of knowledge
and the morality of actions."
(b) "The faculty of first principles." These two are the
(c) "Such ordinary complement of intelligence, that,if a
person be deficient therein, he is accounted mad or
(d) When the substantive is emphasized: "Native practical
intelligence, natural prudence, mother wit, tact in
behavior, acuteness in the observation of character,
in contrast to habits of acquired learning or of
Moral sense. See under Moral,
The inner sense, or The internal sense, capacity of the
mind to be aware of its own states; consciousness;
reflection. "This source of ideas every man has wholly in
himself, and though it be not sense, as having nothing to
do with external objects, yet it is very like it, and
might properly enough be called internal sense." --Locke.
Sense capsule (Anat.), one of the cartilaginous or bony
cavities which inclose, more or less completely, the
organs of smell, sight, and hearing.
Sense organ (Physiol.), a specially irritable mechanism by
which some one natural force or form of energy is enabled
to excite sensory nerves; as the eye, ear, an end bulb or
tactile corpuscle, etc.
Sense organule (Anat.), one of the modified epithelial
cells in or near which the fibers of the sensory nerves
Syn: Understanding; reason.
Usage: Sense, Understanding, Reason. Some philosophers
have given a technical signification to these terms,
which may here be stated. Sense is the mind's acting
in the direct cognition either of material objects or
of its own mental states. In the first case it is
called the outer, in the second the inner, sense.
Understanding is the logical faculty, i. e., the power
of apprehending under general conceptions, or the
power of classifying, arranging, and making
deductions. Reason is the power of apprehending those
first or fundamental truths or principles which are
the conditions of all real and scientific knowledge,
and which control the mind in all its processes of
investigation and deduction. These distinctions are
given, not as established, but simply because they
often occur in writers of the present day.