Sensuous vs Sensual

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What’s the difference between them?

Sensuous

Meaning:

Having to do with pleasing the senses, especially through the gratification of physical desires; voluptuous.

Examples:

1. She danced with a sensuous grace that mesmerized the audience.

2. His sensuous embrace made her feel as if she was in a dream.

3. The room was lit by sensuous candles that created a cozy atmosphere.

Sensual

Meaning:

Having to do with the gratification of the senses, especially sexual pleasure.

Examples:

1. His sensual touch ignited a fire in her body.

2. Her soft voice had a sensual quality that made him weak in the knees.

3. She was drawn to his sensual lips and warm eyes.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Sensuous

1. Voluptuous

2. Alluring

3. Luxuriant

4. Sumptuous

5. Pleasurable

1. Insensible

2. Unsensual

3. Unappealing

4. Unpleasing

5. Unarousing

Sensual

1. Sensitive

2. Aphrodisiac

3. Provocative

4. Alluring

5. Stimulating

1. Ascetic

2. Puritanical

3. Unromantic

4. Unemotional

5. Indifferent

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Sensuous", "Sensual".

1. The key difference between sensuous and sensual is that 'sensuous' is usually used to refer to physical pleasure or beauty, while 'sensual' usually refers to sexual pleasure.

2. Think about the meanings—'sensuous' is related to tactile physical pleasure, while 'sensual' is related to sexual pleasure.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When should 'sensuous' be used?

'Sensuous' is used to describe something that is pleasing to the senses, usually through physical means. It is often used to describe something that arouses the senses and stimulates physical pleasure.

When is the appropriate context for using 'sensual'?

'Sensual' is used to describe the gratification of the senses, usually with the implication of sexual pleasure. It can also be used to describe something that is pleasing to the senses without any sexual connotation.

Do 'sensuous' and 'sensual' share the same pronunciation?

No, sensuous is pronounced /ˈsen.sju.əs/, while sensual is pronounced /ˈsen.sju.əl/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using these words is confusing the meanings. 'Sensuous' is used to describe something that is pleasing to the senses, while 'sensual' is used to describe something that is pleasing to the senses with sexual implications. Additionally, people often mistakenly use 'sensual' to describe something that is sensuous, rather than the other way around.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I wore a silk robe that felt so ___________ on my skin.

2. His gaze was so __________, it made me feel uncomfortable.

3. The painting had a ___________ beauty and grace.

4. I find a ___________ massage to be very relaxing.

5. She had a ___________ voice that was very alluring.

6. His words had a ___________ power that was hard to resist.

1. I wore a silk robe that felt so sensuous on my skin.

Explanation: Sensuous refers to something that is pleasingly and strongly affecting ones senses, while sensual implies pleasingly stimulating the senses, often in relation to the pleasures of the body. Since the silk robe is affecting the senses in a positive and pleasing manner, sensuous is the more appropriate word choice.

2. His gaze was so sensual, it made me feel uncomfortable.

Explanation: Sensual implies strongly stimulating the senses, often in relation to the pleasures of the body. The gaze was making the person feel uncomfortable due to its strong intensity, thus sensual is the more appropriate word choice.

3. The painting had a sensuous beauty and grace.

Explanation: Sensuous refers to something that is pleasingly and strongly affecting ones senses. The painting is appealing to the senses and has a strong presence, thus sensuous is the more appropriate word choice.

4. I find a sensual massage to be very relaxing.

Explanation: Sensual implies strongly stimulating the senses, often in relation to the pleasures of the body. Massages are usually a pleasurable experience, thus sensual is the more appropriate word choice.

5. She had a sensual voice that was very alluring.

Explanation: Sensual implies strongly stimulating the senses, often in relation to the pleasures of the body. The voice was able to stimulate the senses in a strong and positive manner, thus sensual is the more appropriate word choice.

6. His words had a sensuous power that was hard to resist.

Explanation: Sensuous refers to something that is pleasingly and strongly affecting ones senses. The words were able to strongly affect the senses in a captivating manner, thus sensuous is the more appropriate word choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.