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


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