sensuous


sensuous
sensuous, sensual, luxurious, voluptuous, sybaritic, epicurean are comparable when they mean having to do with the gratification of the senses or providing pleasure by gratifying the senses. Both sensuous and sensual can imply reference to the sense organs and to perceptions based on the reactions of these organs and then come very close to sensory in meaning, but more typically both apply to things of the senses as opposed to things of the spirit or intellect. In this use sensuous is more likely to imply gratification of the senses for the sake of the aesthetic pleasure or the delight in beauty of color, sound, or form that is induced while sensual (for fuller treatment see CARNAL) tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the appetities (as of gluttony and lust) as an end in itself
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nobody can resist the Bay of Naples, or if he can, then all the simple and sensuous delights of this world must turn to bitterness and ashes in his mouth— Mackenzie

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arise and fly the reeling faun, the sensual feast— Tennyson

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he liked the morning plunge in his great sunken tub, the sensual warmth of sudsy water— Wolfe

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Chinese painters are not, like the Persians, absorbed in expressing their sensuous delight in the wonder and glory of the world— Binyon

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As applied to persons or their natures, sensuous often carries an implication of indifference to things of the spirit but it practically never suggests the carnality so often connoted by sensual
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the sensuous, self-indulgent nature she [Elizabeth] derived from Anne Boleyn— J. R. Green

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his nature was purely sensuous, and she strove to make him moral, religious— D. H. Lawrence

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the young boy's love is a spiritual passion . . . without any sensory, still less any sensual, elements— Ellis

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Luxurious (see also LUXURIOUS 2) implies indulgence, often self-indulgence, in sensual or, more often, sensuous pleasures, especially pleasures that induce a pleasant languor, delightful ease, or particularly a grateful peace of mind
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the emotionalist steeps himself or herself in luxurious feeling and pathetic imagination, which make no severe call upon either the will or the intellect— Inge

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the fatuous air of luxurious abandon . . . as she danced with the prince— Connolly

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Voluptuous also implies giving oneself up to the pleasures of sense but it carries a stronger implication of abandonment to such pleasure for its own sake than does luxurious; also it more frequently carries a suggestion of sensual rather than of sensuous enjoyment
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fair fallacious looks . . . softened with pleasure and voluptuous life—Milton

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a temper too indolent to inquire, too bigoted to doubt, a voluptuous devotionality allied perhaps to refined aestheticism, but totally alien to the austerity and penetrating sincerity of the Gospel— Inge

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he had worked himself up in lecherous and voluptuous anticipation of this date— Farrell

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Sybaritic implies voluptuousness of an overrefined and effeminate sort; usually it suggests indulgence in the rarest and choicest foods and drinks amid surroundings calculated to charm and soothe the senses
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it was a sybaritic repast, in a magnificent apartment— Thackeray

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sybaritic grandeur which eclipses the splendor of a sultan's harem— Green Peyton

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Epicurean may imply sensuality and voluptuousness but more often suggests sensuous rather than sensual delight in the pleasures of eating and drinking and a delicate and fastidious rather than a gross taste
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warming their palace kitchens, and from thence their unctuous and epicurean paunches— Milton

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nothing to mar the sober majesties of settled, sweet, epicurean life— Tennyson

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drinking his tea with epicurean satisfaction— Powys

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Analogous words: sensational, imaginal (see corresponding nouns at SENSATION): delicious, delectable, luscious, *delightful: aesthetic, *artistic

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • sensuous — [sen′sho͞o əs] adj. [< L sensus, SENSE + OUS] 1. of, derived from, based on, affecting, appealing to, or perceived by the senses 2. readily susceptible through the senses; enjoying the pleasures of sensation sensuously adv. sensuousness n. SYN …   English World dictionary

  • Sensuous — Sen su*ous, a. 1. Of or pertaining to the senses, or sensible objects; addressing the senses; suggesting pictures or images of sense. [1913 Webster] To this poetry would be made precedent, as being less subtle and fine, but more simple, sensuous …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sensuous — 1640s, pertaining to the senses coined (from L. sensus) by Milton to recover the original meaning of SENSUAL (Cf. sensual) and avoid the lascivious connotation that the older word had acquired by Milton s day, but by 1870 sensuous, too, had begun …   Etymology dictionary

  • sensuous — index lascivious, physical Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sensuous — [adj] gratifying to senses carnal, epicurean, exciting, fleshly, fleshy, hedonistic, luscious, lush, luxurious, passionate, physical, pleasurable, pleasure loving, pleasure seeking, primrose, rich, self indulgent, sensory, sensual, sensualistic,… …   New thesaurus

  • sensuous — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to or affecting the senses rather than the intellect. 2) attractive or gratifying physically, especially sexually. DERIVATIVES sensuously adverb sensuousness noun. ORIGIN from Latin sensus sense …   English terms dictionary

  • sensuous — sensual, sensuous 1. Sensual is the older word (15c), and originally described feelings that involved the senses as distinct from the intellect. As it became more closely associated with aspects of physical indulgence characterized by the… …   Modern English usage

  • sensuous — adjective 1) they lived amid sensuous surroundings Syn: aesthetically pleasing, gratifying, rich, sumptuous, luxurious; sensory, sensorial 2) sensuous lips Syn: sexually attractive, sexy, seductive, voluptuous …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • Sensuous — Infobox Album Name = Sensuous Type = studio Artist = Cornelius Released = flagicon|Japan October 25, 2006 flagicon|USA April 24, 2007 Recorded = Genre = Shibuya kei, Experimental, Downtempo Length = 46:57 Label = Warner Music Japan Producer =… …   Wikipedia

  • sensuous — [[t]se̱nʃuəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Something that is sensuous gives pleasure to the mind or body through the senses. The film is ravishing to look at and boasts a sensuous musical score... It is a sensuous but demanding car to drive. Derived words:… …   English dictionary


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