sen·​tient | \ ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ənt How to pronounce sentient (audio) , ˈsen-tē-ənt\

Definition of sentient

1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions sentient beings
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling

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Other Words from sentient

sentiently adverb

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.

Examples of sentient in a Sentence

sentient of the danger posed by the approaching hurricane

Recent Examples on the Web

Biochemical reactions give rise to sentient beings. Quanta Magazine, "To Solve the Biggest Mystery in Physics, Join Two Kinds of Law," 7 Sep. 2017 The basketball and hockey playoffs are buzzing, baseball’s thawing from its Arctic April, and sentient beings, perhaps from outer space, appear to have hijacked the New York Jets, and made a smart quarterback draft pick. Jason Gay, WSJ, "‘Dancing With the Stars’ Twirls to the Jocks," 29 Apr. 2018 This go-round, the crew of the USS Discovery will be facing its greatest threat yet: a being or entity intent on wiping out all sentient beings in the Universe. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Spock smiles in the face of danger in new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery S2," 13 Dec. 2018 From Cold War hallucinations to futures ruined by climate change and overtaken by sentient military AI, Call of Duty: Black Ops has always provided players with absurd and fascinating sites of cultural exploration. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Yes, Call of Duty's Single-Player Campaign Will Be Missed," 18 May 2018 Any sentient person who has spent measurable time near a paddock, then or now, could in clear conscience verify that the lines at the betting windows would vanish if gangsters and other persons of ill repute ceased to assemble at racetracks. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, "The Great American Racetrack War," 9 June 2017 In it, Vernon tries hard to entertain a new blue avian friend, unaware that Bird is not sentient but rather a wooden cuckoo fallen from a clock. New York Times, "Brief Tales for New Readers and Little Listeners From Philip Stead and More," 29 June 2018 Any sentient market-watcher has known for about a year that index provider MSCI will include stocks listed in mainland China in its benchmarks starting June 1. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Chinese Stocks Aren’t Normal—Whatever MSCI Thinks," 15 May 2018 On Monday, President Trump nominated D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and sentient pair of wrinkle-free Dockers Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Never Mind, the Handmaid’s Tale Wine Has Been Canceled," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sentient.' 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 sentient

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sentient

Latin sentient-, sentiens, present participle of sentire to perceive, feel

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Statistics for sentient

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for sentient

The first known use of sentient was in 1632

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English Language Learners Definition of sentient

technical + formal : able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste


sen·​tient | \ ˈsen-ch(ē-)ənt How to pronounce sentient (audio) , ˈsent-ē-ənt How to pronounce sentient (audio) \

Medical Definition of sentient

: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions

Other Words from sentient

sentiently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on sentient

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sentient

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sentient

Spanish Central: Translation of sentient

Nglish: Translation of sentient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sentient for Arabic Speakers

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