Sense

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There are several meanings of the word sense. This page is for disambiguation - there are more detailed articles on each meaning:

When a word has several meanings, one can refer to it as being used "in the sense of..." some context or other. In Simple English for instance we avoid using words in unusual senses.

The sensory system of animals[change | edit source]

The human sensory system is usually said to have six senses:

  • Hearing is the sense of sound that comes into our ears.
  • Sight is the sense of seeing things with our eyes.
  • Touch is the sense of feeling things with our skin.
  • Taste is the sense of the flavor of things with our tongues
  • Smell is the sense of smelling things with our noses.
  • Kinesthetic sense is knowing where your whole body is and where it is not.

Other animals may have other senses. Fish have lateral lines which detect changes in the water pressure around them, and some can detect changes in electric fields around them.

Sense in language[change | edit source]

Sense in this context is the meaning conveyed by language.

Another use is to flag whether an argument or statement is correct and understood. "That makes no sense" or "That is nonsense" are examples from everyday speech.

A variation of this is to say that something does not make "economic sense". Usually these words signal a political dispute or some failure to define terms correctly.

The term "common sense" is thinking based on a wide experience of life. It used to mean practical wisdom. It has a long history of being used in politics, often to mean that some idea will be accepted or rejected because of human nature (what people are like).