sen·​tience | \ ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ən(t)s How to pronounce sentience (audio) , ˈsen-tē-ən(t)s\

Definition of sentience

1 : a sentient quality or state
2 : feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought

Examples of sentience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Breaking with science fiction tradition, the computers did not gain sentience and attempt to destroy humanity with a robotic battleship. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Darren Aronofsky’s Pi day: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 14 July 2018 Why there’s no sentience kernels or A.I. or Olympias. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "Olympia," 20 Nov. 2017 But there’s a catch: humans have to prove their sentience in a talent show called the Megagalactic Grand Prix, instituted after a galaxy-wide conflict known as The Sentience Wars. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Space Opera is the funniest science fiction novel I’ve read since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy," 14 Apr. 2018 On HBO’s Westworld, female androids gain sentience and aim their guns at the humans who abused them. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Female Rage on Television Reaches a Boiling Point in Dietland," 31 May 2018 And the kid, who clearly hasn't reached sentience yet, doesn't know that Maeve used to fill that role., "Westworld Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: "Hello, Old Friend"," 28 May 2018 The idea of androids and AI gaining sentience and figuring out how to exist in human society is a fascinating subject, one that can touch on ideas about the nature of life and changes to social structures that will ensue, and much more. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Detroit: Become Human review: a beautiful vision of the future gets stuck in the past," 24 May 2018 My life, my brain, my very sentience were resisting being compartmentalized into 30-minute windows. Laura Goode, Glamour, "I Hated Breastfeeding—So I Quit," 22 May 2018 ABC News Man's best friend By training his dog to sit perfectly still in an MRI machine, Gregory Burns was able to determine that our canine companions have a level of sentience comparable to that of human children. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Morning Headlines: The New Man in Halle Berry's Life, Prince Harry to Marry? — and More," 7 Oct. 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sentience.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sentience

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sentience

The first known use of sentience was in 1839

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