• sentient
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SEN-shee-unt\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
2
: having or showing understanding or knowledge : aware
3
: finely sensitive in perception or feeling
  • EXAMPLES

Both parties to the agreement must be sentient of the risks involved.

"Frightened of the potential that a vast automated intelligence represents, we often portray sentient intelligences as the equivalent of machine gods—ones that, in many cases, find us wanting. The concept of a homicidal machine or computer isn't just common; it has a become a trope of modern science fiction." — From an article by Mark Hachman in PC Magazine, April 15, 2013

  • 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" or "to perceive" and is related to the noun "sensus," meaning "sense." A few related English words are "sentiment" and "sentimental," which have to do with emotions, and "sensual," which relates to more physical "sensations."

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "ceorl," our Word of the Day from April 29? The answer is …

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