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From Latin sentiēns (feeling, perceiving), present active participle of sentiō.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɛn.ti.ənt/[1]
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɛn.ʃ(i.)ənt/[1]


sentient (comparative more sentient, superlative most sentient)

  1. Experiencing sensation, thought, or feeling.
    Synonym: sensate
  2. Able to consciously perceive through the use of sense faculties.
    Antonym: insensate
  3. (loosely, chiefly science fiction) Possessing human-like awareness and intelligence.
    Synonyms: sapient; see also Thesaurus:self-aware
    • 2002, André Bormanis, “Silent Enemy”, in Star Trek: Enterprise, season 1, episode 12, spoken by Jonathan Archer:
      Not even a microbe? I don't want to blow up something that could evolve into a sentient species in a couple of billion years.
    • 2022 June 14, Toby Walsh, “Labelling Google’s LaMDA chatbot as sentient is fanciful. But it’s very human to be taken in by machines”, in The Guardian[2]:
      Lemoine has been placed on “paid administrative leave” after publishing a transcript of conversations with LaMDA which he claims support his belief that the chatbot is sentient and comparable to a seven- or eight-year-old child. [] While Lemoine no doubt genuinely believes his claims, LaMDA is likely to be as sentient as a traffic light.
    • 2022 August 5, Cade Metz, “A.I. Is Not Sentient. Why Do People Say It Is?”, in The New York Times[3], →ISSN:
      After more than 25 years as an artificial intelligence researcher [] Dr. Goertzel knew he had finally reached the end goal: Desdemona, a machine he had built, was sentient. But a few minutes later, he realized this was nonsense.


See also[edit]


sentient (plural sentients)

  1. Lifeform with the capability to feel sensation, such as pain.
  2. (loosely, chiefly science fiction) An intelligent, self-aware being.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:sentient


  1. 1.0 1.1 “SENTIENT | Pronunciation in English”, in (please provide the title of the work)[1], Cambridge University Press, accessed 2020-09-18

Further reading[edit]





  1. third-person plural future active indicative of sentiō