from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having sense perception; conscious: "The living knew themselves just sentient puppets on God's stage” ( T.E. Lawrence).
  • adj. Experiencing sensation or feeling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Conscious or self-aware.
  • adj. Experiencing sensation, thinking, thought, or feeling.
  • adj. Possessing human-like knowledge and intelligence.
  • n. Lifeform with the capability to feel sensation, such as pain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having a faculty, or faculties, of sensation and perception.
  • n. One who has the faculty of perception; a sentient being.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of sensation or of sense-perception; having the power of feeling.
  • Characterized by the exercise of sense or sense-perception.
  • In physiology, noting those parts which on stimulation give rise to sensation.
  • Synonyms Sensitive, etc. See sensible.
  • n. The mind as capable of feeling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
  • adj. consciously perceiving


Latin sentiēns, sentient-, present participle of sentīre, to feel; see sent- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin sentīens ("feeling, perceiving"), present active participle of sentiō. (Wiktionary)


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  • I am sentient, but a rock is not.

    November 13, 2007

  • "'I count this as the day Wordie became sentient,' Mr. McGrath says. 'I love seeing people bend a system to their own purposes.'"
    - me, in the frickin' Wall Street Journal Online. Ha!

    December 27, 2006