Syn. Perception. Sensation, Perseption. The distinction between these words, when used in
mental philosophy, may be thus stated; if I simply smell a rose, I have a sensation; if I refer that smell to
the external object which occasioned it, I have a perception. Thus, the former is mere feeling, without
the idea of an object; the latter is the mind's apprehension of some external object as occasioning that
feeling. "Sensation properly expresses that change in the state of the mind which is produced by an
impression upon an organ of sense (of which change we can conceive the mind to be conscious, without
any knowledge of external objects). Perception, on the other hand, expresses the knowledge or the
intimations we obtain by means of our sensations concerning the qualities of matter, and consequently
involves, in every instance, the notion of externality, or outness, which it is necessary to exclude in
order to seize the precise import of the word sensation." Fleming.
1. Of or pertaining to sensation; as, sensational nerves.
2. Of or pertaining to sensationalism, or the doctrine that sensation is the sole origin of knowledge.
3. Suited or intended to excite temporarily great interest or emotion; melodramatic; emotional; as, sensational
plays or novels; sensational preaching; sensational journalism; a sensational report.
1. (Metaph.) The doctrine held by Condillac, and by some ascribed to Locke, that our ideas originate
solely in sensation, and consist of sensations transformed; sensualism; opposed to intuitionalism, and
2. The practice or methods of sensational writing or speaking; as, the sensationalism of a novel.
1. (Metaph.) An advocate of, or believer in, philosophical sensationalism.
2. One who practices sensational writing or speaking.
(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., Sentence,
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 reachMilton.
Of human sense I shall delineate.
The traitor Sense recallsKeble.
The soaring soul from rest.
2. Perception by the sensory organs of the body; sensation; sensibility; feeling.
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.Bacon.