sen·​tience ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ən(t)s How to pronounce sentience (audio)
: a sentient quality or state
: feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought

Examples of sentience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The change in perspective — from adolescent to academic — allows Knausgaard to expand the novel’s philosophical ambit to encompass evolution, the conjectural sentience of trees and the narrow scope of human comprehension. Charles Arrowsmith, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 While intelligence and sentience go together in humans and other evolved organisms, this doesn’t have to be the case. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2023 The reaction by many people is that surely this might be an indication that today’s AI is reaching a point of sentience. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 17 July 2023 In recent years, humans have gradually offered membership in the sentience club not only to their own young but to some other animals as well. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 3 Feb. 2023 Amid otherworldly landscapes that seem to buzz with sentience and pulse with electricity, William places mysterious, faceless figures whose skins consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of eyes. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2023 All of that phrasing implies a semblance of sentience. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 Blake Lemoine maintains that the bot has achieved sentience. Longreads, 29 Dec. 2022 Last year Google fired a software employee who falsely claimed the company’s artificial intelligence had achieved sentience. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 16 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sentience.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sentience was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near sentience

Cite this Entry

“Sentience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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