sensitivity

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sensitivity
1. The consistency of clay as this is affected by remoulding. The effect depends on the type of clay and the amount of pore water. In a sensitive clay, shear strength is decreased dramatically on remoulding when moisture content remains constant. Sensitivity is measured as the ratio of the unconfined compressive strength to the strength in the remoulded state at the same water content.

2. In chemical analysis, the smallest change in concentration which can be discriminated by the analytical method.

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sen·si·tiv·i·ty / ˌsensiˈtivitē/ • n. (pl. -ties) the quality or condition of being sensitive: a total lack of common decency and sensitivity | he has a sensitivity to cow's milk. ∎  (sensitivities) a person's feelings which might be easily offended or hurt; sensibilities: the only rules that matter are practical ones that respect local sensitivities.

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sensitivity (irritability) One of the fundamental properties of all organisms: the capacity to detect, interpret, and respond to changes in the environment (e.g. the stimuli of light, touch, chemicals, etc.). Multicellular animals have specialized sense organs and effector organs for this purpose; in unicellular organisms, which lack a nervous system, the reception of and response to a stimulus occur in the same cell.

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sensitivity Of a landscape, the likelihood that a change in the controls of a system will produce a recognizable response. Sensitivity has also been thought of as the ratio of disturbing to resisting forces; the relation of forces to a particular threshold condition; and the ability to recover from a disturbance (see relaxation time).

2. See irritability.

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sensitivity (sen-sit-iv-iti) n.
1. the degree to which a disease-causing organism responds to treatment by antibiotics or other drugs.

2. a measure of the reliability of a screening test based on the proportion of people with a specific disease who react positively to the test: the higher the sensitivity, the fewer the false negatives. Compare specificity.

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sensitivity See IRRITABILITY.