sentient

adjective
sen·​tient | \ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ənt, 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

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 That restaurant, as most sentient political observers know by now, was the Red Hen in Lexington, VA and that customer was Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "Blacklist Every Last One of Them," 26 June 2018 By inventing sentient life, Ford has taken da Vinci’s early sketches to their natural conclusion. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 7: Decoding Da Vinci," 4 June 2018 Today, with much of the privatised rail system in chaos and some franchises being taken back under public control, sentient Tories are telling a more complicated story. The Economist, "Good capitalism v bad capitalism," 7 June 2018 Victims of crimes can sue their abusers and animals are sentient beings that are recognized as victims under Oregon law. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Horse sues former guardian for neglect, seeks $100,000 in damages," 4 May 2018 Victims of crimes can sue their abusers and animals are sentient beings that are recognized as victims under Oregon law. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Horse sues former guardian for neglect, seeks $100,000 in damages," 4 May 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

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for sentient

The first known use of sentient was in 1632

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More Definitions for sentient

sentient

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sentient

: able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste

sentient

adjective
sen·​tient | \ˈsen-ch(ē-)ənt, ˈsent-ē-ənt \

Medical Definition of sentient 

: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions

Other Words from sentient

sentiently adverb

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