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 That and sentient apes weren't the end of the researchers' bizarre conversational topics, Delehanty said. al, "Alabama researchers find torture in movies of all kinds -- even cartoons," 10 Feb. 2020 So Republicans have had the endless misery of making excuses, shading facts and reciting White House talking points that insult the intelligence of any sentient adult. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump makes life miserable for Republicans in Congress, and a second term would be even worse," 30 Oct. 2019 Setting aside their differences with old enemies like Magneto, Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men stun the rest of the world by declaring a new sovereign mutant nation-state on the sentient island of Krakoa. Christian Holub,, "The best comics of 2019," 20 Dec. 2019 Though Kanye West hovered over 2019 like a sentient burial shroud, other artists took a less self-hagiographic approach to their projects and personas. The Atlantic, "The 18 Best Albums of 2019," 10 Dec. 2019 When Frozen 2 begins, everything seems perfectly happy for Elsa (Idina Menzel), her ever-ebullient sister Anna (Kristen Bell), their sentient snowman pal Olaf (Josh Gad), and more. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Frozen 2' and Its Unanswered Elsa Questions," 23 Nov. 2019 The Giant Sequoias were not objects to be studied, but sentient beings recognized as venerable members of the Yosemite community. Los Angeles Times, "Yosemite’s Sequoias have a vital message. Listen to them, urges Terry Tempest Williams," 7 Oct. 2019 Critics find the prospect of cultivating such sentient animals for food barbaric. Tik Root, Time, "Inside the Race to Build the World's First Commercial Octopus Farm," 21 Aug. 2019 All animals are sentient beings and even those raised for slaughter are entitled to be treated humanely., "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine - The Boston Globe," 14 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for sentient

Time Traveler

The first known use of sentient was in 1632

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sentient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for sentient


How to pronounce sentient (audio)

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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