Simple Definition of sentient
: able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste
Full Definition of sentient
1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings>
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling
Examples of sentient in a sentence
<sentient of the danger posed by the approaching hurricane>
Did You Know?
You may have guessed that sentient has something to do with the senses. The initial spelling sent- or sens- is often a giveaway for such a meaning. A sentient being is one who perceives and responds to sensations of whatever kind - sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell. Sentient ultimately comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means "to feel" and is related to the noun sensus, meaning "feeling" or "sense." A few related English words are sentiment and sentimental, which have to do with emotions, and sensual, which relates to more physical sensations.
Origin of sentient
Latin sentient-, sentiens, present participle of sentire to perceive, feel
First Known Use: 1632
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sentient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).