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[sen-tuh-muh nt] /ˈsɛn tə mənt/
an attitude toward something; regard; opinion.
a mental feeling; emotion:
a sentiment of pity.
refined or tender emotion; manifestation of the higher or more refined feelings.
exhibition or manifestation of feeling or sensibility, or appeal to the tender emotions, in literature, art, or music.
a thought influenced by or proceeding from feeling or emotion.
the thought or feeling intended to be conveyed by words, acts, or gestures as distinguished from the words, acts, or gestures themselves.
Origin of sentiment
1325-75; < Medieval Latin sentīmentum, equivalent to Latin sentī(re) to feel + -mentum -ment; replacing Middle English sentement < Old French < Medieval Latin, as above
Related forms
sentimentless, adjective
Can be confused
sentiment, sentimentality (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonym Study
1. See opinion. 2. See feeling. 3. Sentiment, sentimentality are terms for sensitiveness to emotional feelings. Sentiment is a sincere and refined sensibility, a tendency to be influenced by emotion rather than reason or fact: to appeal to sentiment. Sentimentality implies affected, excessive, sometimes mawkish sentiment: weak sentimentality. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sentiments
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A wise man sometimes has to take his sentiments from a wiser woman.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • I do not know why I am expected to voice the sentiments of the party.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • How could it be when I lack skill to persuade you of the sincerity of my sentiments?

    The Joy of Captain Ribot Armando Palacio Valds
  • These relations and sentiments constitute a social philosophy.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The serene geniality of the weather was perfectly reflected in the sentiments of those who enjoyed it.

    Dust Julian Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for sentiments


susceptibility to tender, delicate, or romantic emotion: she has too much sentiment to be successful
(often pl) a thought, opinion, or attitude
exaggerated, overindulged, or mawkish feeling or emotion
an expression of response to deep feeling, esp in art or literature
a feeling, emotion, or awareness: a sentiment of pity
a mental attitude modified or determined by feeling: there is a strong revolutionary sentiment in his country
a feeling conveyed, or intended to be conveyed, in words
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin sentīmentum, from Latin sentīre to feel
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 sentiments



late 14c., sentement, "personal experience, one's own feeling," from Old French sentement (12c.), from Medieval Latin sentimentum "feeling, affection, opinion," from Latin sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)).

Meaning "what one feels about something" (1630s) and modern spelling seem to be a re-introduction from French (where it was spelled sentiment by 17c.). A vogue word mid-18c. with wide application, commonly "a thought colored by or proceeding from emotion" (1762), especially as expressed in literature or art. The 17c. sense is preserved in phrases such as my sentiments exactly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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