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Usage: Sensual vs Sensuous

By Gaurav
In common mistakes in English
Dec 27th, 2008

“Sensual” usually relates to physical desires and experiences, and often
means “sexy.” But “sensuous” is more often used for esthetic pleasures,
like “sensuous music.” The two words do overlap a good deal. The leather
seats in your new car may be sensuous; but if they turn you on, they
might be sensual. “Sensual” often has a slightly racy or even judgmental
tone lacking in “sensuous.”

This is a verbatim from the book of Paul Brian. To read more such confusing words click: Common Errors in English. If you haven’t downloaded this book, then do it right now. This is really helpful. This is my personal advice.

BTW, here is one verbatim from merriam dictionary:

sensuous implies gratification of the senses for the sake of aesthetic pleasure <the sensuous delights of great music>. sensual tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the physical appetites as ends in themselves <a life devoted to sensual pleasures>

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