—n. 1. any of the faculties, as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch, by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body.
2. these faculties collectively.
3. their operation or function; sensation.
4. a feeling or perception produced through the organs of touch, taste, etc., or resulting from a particular condition of some part of the body: to have a sense of cold. 5. a faculty or function of the mind analogous to sensation: the moral sense. 6. any special capacity for perception, estimation, appreciation, etc.: a sense of humor. 7. Usually, senses. clear and sound mental faculties; sanity: Have you taken leave of your senses? 8. a more or less vague perception or impression: a sense of security. 9. a mental discernment, realization, or recognition; acuteness: a just sense of the worth of a thing. 10. the recognition of something as incumbent or fitting: a sense of duty. 11. sound practical intelligence: He has no sense. 12. something that is sensible or reasonable: to talk sense. 13. the meaning or gist of something: You missed the sense of his statement. 14. the value or worth of something; merit: There's no sense in worrying about the past. 15. the meaning of a word or phrase in a specific context, esp. as isolated in a dictionary or glossary; the semantic element in a word or group of words.
16. an opinion or judgment formed or held, esp. by an assemblage or body of persons: the sense of a meeting. 17. Genetics.a DNA sequence that is capable of coding for an amino acid (distinguished from nonsense).
18. Math.one of two opposite directions in which a vector may point.
19. come to one's senses, to regain one's good judgment or realistic point of view; become reasonable.
20. in a sense, according to one explanation or view; to a certain extent: In a sense it may have been the only possible solution. 21. make sense, to be reasonable or comprehensible: His attitude doesn't make sense.
—v.t. 1. to perceive (something) by the senses; become aware of.
2. to grasp the meaning of; understand.
3. (of certain mechanical devices) to detect physical phenomena, as light, temperature, radioactivity, etc., mechanically, electrically, or photoelectrically.
4. Computers.to read (punched holes, tape, data, etc.) mechanically, electrically, or photoelectrically.