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

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" or "to perceive," and is related to the noun sensus, meaning "sense." A few related English words are sentiment and sentimental, which have to do with emotions, sensual, which relates to more physical sensations, and the trio of assent, consent, and dissent, which involve one's expressions of agreement (or disagreement in the case of dissent) in thought and feeling with another.

Examples of sentient in a Sentence

sentient of the danger posed by the approaching hurricane
Recent Examples on the Web But when the corpse becomes sentient and goes missing, several mysterious murders start to take over the city. Juliana Ukiomogbe, ELLE, 27 July 2022 This is normal good treating players as sentient peers talk. Stephanie Stradley, Chron, 26 July 2022 Erik Brynjolfsson is confident that today’s AI is not sentient. Rob Toews, Forbes, 24 July 2022 Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who told The Washington Post that the company’s artificial intelligence was sentient, said the company fired him on Friday. Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post, 23 July 2022 Humans have simply always been humans: ironic, sentient, self-reflective, and free from any species-wide programming. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 11 July 2022 Abstract arguments about whether AI are sentient ignore the real impact artificial intelligence has on society. WSJ, 19 July 2022 These led him to ask if the software program is sentient. Leonardo De Cosmo, Scientific American, 12 July 2022 And then there was the recent news about AI at Google being sentient. Arun Shastri, Forbes, 26 June 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of sentient was in 1632

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sentient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sentient


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sentient

Nglish: Translation of sentient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sentient for Arabic Speakers


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