Sensible is widely used and has several meanings unlike sensical, which doesn’t exist in dictionaries.Sensical is used as an antonym for nonsensical. Nonsensical means unreasonable, silly, or absurd while sensical,like sensible in one sense, means reasonable, rational, or logical.
Commonsensical is another adjective that’s closely related to sensical. It’s from the phrase “common sense”. The meaning of commonsensical is practically showing common sense, which is the ability to act, judge, or decide in a sensible way.
When to Use Sensical
Although most dictionaries don’t carry the word sensical, it exists and is being used albeit rarely. Sensical is used as an adjective.
The man makes sensical claims.
I would agree if everything seemed sensical, but all of it was nonsense.
It’s only sensical that you avoid any sore subject with your friends.
When to Use Sensible
Sensible has several meanings. It can be used as an adjective and an adverb.
Sensible as an Adjective
There are at least four ways that sensible can be used as an adjective. First, it’s used to signify the ability to make good judgment or show good sense.
Our clients trust us because they’ve proven we make sensible decisions all the time.
Can we rely on her when she can’t even make a single sensible statement?
We have a lot of sensible options to choose from.
Second, sensible pertains to something comfortable or practical rather than fashionable or attractive. It can be used to say that a thing is suitable for its purpose but not exciting.
The prize is sensible, but it could’ve been better.
Wearing sensible shoes wasn’t a problem until my stylish cousin arrived.
Andy doesn’t want to get rid of his sensible car because he said it’s still working.
Third, the phrase “be sensible of something” is a formal or literary way of using sensible. The phrase means having an understanding or awareness of a situation.
We’re sensible of the imminent danger this time.
They seemed to be sensible of the school’s challenges now.
The children were very sensible of their difficulties but not anymore.
Lastly, another formal usage of sensible relates to the senses. It means something is noticeable, perceptible, or can be felt.
A sensible odor wafting from the bag makes me want to puke.
The patient was so nervous he could feel a sensible chill.
Everyone’s noticing the sensible decrease in temperature.
Sensible as an Adverb
The adverb form of sensibleis sensibly. It’s used to indicate that something is reasonable, wise, or practical.
My grandmother is always sensibly dressed for any occasion.
Try doing your tasks more sensibly next time to avoid unnecessary stress.
You’ll be able to realize the importance of spending money sensibly soon.
Sensical vs. Sensible: What’s the Difference?
Sensical is almost nonexistent although there are some who still consider its usage acceptable. Sensible and sensical are synonymous in one way. Both adjectives can mean reasonable, practical, or rational. However, using sensible in standard English communication makes more sense than using sensical.
Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). Commonsensical. In https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/commonsensical
Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). Nonsensical. In https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/nonsensical
Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). Sensible. In https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sensible
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. (n.d.). Nonsensical. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/nonsensical
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. (n.d.). Sensible. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/sensible
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Commonsensical. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commonsensical
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Nonsensical. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonsensical
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Sensible. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sensible