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[sen-shuh nt] /ˈsɛn ʃənt/
having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
characterized by sensation and consciousness.
a person or thing that is sentient.
Archaic. the conscious mind.
Origin of sentient
1595-1605; < Latin sentient- (stem of sentiēns, present participle of sentīre to feel), equivalent to senti- verb stem + -ent- -ent
Related forms
sentiently, adverb
nonsentient, adjective
nonsentiently, adverb
unsentient, adjective
unsentiently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sentient
  • Dogs are amazing and capable sentient beings, ones that deserve life as much as or maybe even more than their human companions.
  • sentient city with close relationship with its inhabitants dies.
  • Reading that prose is one of the great joys that literacy bestows on the sentient.
  • Pigs, chickens, and other animals raised for food are sentient beings with rich emotional lives.
  • Nobody could have doubted that he was taking the life of a sentient being with wants and needs.
  • In its maddening dash through the swirling dust the machine takes on the attributes of a sentient thing.
  • Another sentient human being in the same room would do.
  • The suffering of sentient beings-humans and animals.
  • Of course, full human employment may not be a part of a sentient robot overlord's grand plan.
  • Advocates of renewables-along with every sentient human-should be loudly disavowing all food-based biofuels.
British Dictionary definitions for sentient


having the power of sense perception or sensation; conscious
(rare) a sentient person or thing
Derived Forms
sentiently, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sentiēns feeling, from sentīre to perceive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sentient

1630s, "capable of feeling," from Latin sentientem (nominative sentiens) "feeling," present participle of sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)). Meaning "conscious" (of something) is from 1815.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sentient in Medicine

sentient sen·tient (sěn'shənt, -shē-ənt)

  1. Having sense perception; conscious.

  2. Experiencing sensation or feeling.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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