Definition of sentient
1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions sentient beings
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling
sentient was our Word of the Day on 05/27/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of sentient in a sentence
sentient of the danger posed by the approaching hurricane
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.
Origin and Etymology of sentient
Latin sentient-, sentiens, present participle of sentire to perceive, feel
First Known Use: 1632
SENTIENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sentient for English Language Learners
: able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste
Seen and Heard
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