Definition of sentient in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɛnʃ(ə)nt//ˈsɛntɪənt/


  • Able to perceive or feel things.

    ‘she had been instructed from birth in the equality of all sentient life forms’
    • ‘Yet that is what we, in effect, tell the millions of sentient creatures who are killed in lab experiments.’
    • ‘A strange computer called Hal is about to become sentient and then go insane.’
    • ‘Why does an omniscient, omnipotent God allow pain and suffering to happen to sentient, living things?’
    • ‘No sentient beings lived on the planet, so it would not be terrible if they colonized it.’
    • ‘People frequently complain that their questions nowadays are answered not by sentient humans but by machines.’
    • ‘What then do we do when the computer is as sentient as we are?’
    • ‘The entire series is built on speculation about alien life, sentient or otherwise.’
    • ‘He shouldn't have embarked on the expeditions for the search of sentient life forms with his team.’
    • ‘Seems you just need to tell someone they're in a team with the computer to have them start deferring to it, as if it was sentient.’
    • ‘Of course unless it is alive or sentient through other means, it cannot know about anything, even itself.’
    • ‘The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings.’
    • ‘It reminds me of what it'd be like if one of our probes ever landed on a planet with sentient life.’
    • ‘The subject matter of the social sciences is conscious sentient beings who act out of choice.’
    • ‘Based on Mars, The Mysterons are sentient computers constructed by an alien civilisation.’
    • ‘There's even some argument that since it might be sentient, it would be unethical to destroy it.’
    • ‘Most of us are aware that sentient life is not limited to two legs or even four.’
    • ‘Animals (or at least sentient animals) clearly have an interest in not being made to suffer.’
    • ‘Its new policies start with the recognition these animals are sentient beings.’
    • ‘So he journeyed from world to world and took the souls of any sentient creature he came across.’
    • ‘If you have a being that is not sentient, that is not even aware, then the killing of that being is not something that is wrong in and of itself.’
    feeling, capable of feeling, living, live
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin sentient- ‘feeling’, from the verb sentire.