Is there a word for the ability to sense something someone else is feeling? Kind of like the opposite of autism?

5 Answers 5


Empathy: The feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else's feeling

Merriam Webster


The word "empathy" specifically describes that ability.

Empathy (n.): the ​ability to ​share someone else’s ​feelings or ​experiences by ​imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s ​situation. Cambridge English dictionary

  • 1
    Please do not repeat an earlier answer. And if you have something to add to the earlier answer, it is more appropriate to put it in the comments to that answer.
    – TrevorD
    Apr 20, 2016 at 23:32

Are you thinking of telepathy - the supposed communication of thoughts or ideas by means other than the known senses. (Oxford Dictionaries Online).


Even stronger than empathy, there is Mirror-touch synesthesia. More of a condition than a sense though.

Wikipedia describes it as

a condition which causes individuals to experience the same sensation (such as touch) that another person feels. For example, if someone with this condition were to observe someone touching their cheek, they would feel the same sensation on their own cheek.


Sixth sense:

a supposed intuitive faculty giving awareness not explicable in terms of normal perception.

You can also say someone is especially perceptive, or sensitive. In some contexts clairvoyant could work too, though this is more about seeing events in the future.

Also, a mind-reader:

the ability to discern the thoughts of others without the normal means of communication, especially by means of a preternatural power.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.