• synonyms


[sey-pee-uh nt]
See more synonyms for sapient on Thesaurus.com
  1. having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment.
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Origin of sapient

1425–75; late Middle English sapyent < Latin sapient- (stem of sapiēns, present participle of sapere to be wise, literally, to taste, have taste), equivalent to sapi- verb stem + -ent- -ent
Related formssa·pi·ence, sa·pi·en·cy, nounsa·pi·ent·ly, adverbun·sa·pi·ent, adjectiveun·sa·pi·ent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for sapience

Historical Examples

  • But her "sapience," as you excellently call it, passes all decent bounds.

    The Letters of William James, Vol. 1

    William James

  • Apparently they were impressed with the sapience of his remark.

    Angel Island

    Inez Haynes Gillmore

  • Sapience: the Book of Wisdom, but the quotation is actually from Proverbs xx.

  • In its archetype it is the Divine wisdom, or sapience, manifested in the creation.

  • Intervention, of course, is my responsibility, but the sapience question is yours.

    Little Fuzzy

    Henry Beam Piper

British Dictionary definitions for sapience


  1. often ironic wise or sagacious
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Derived Formssapience, nounsapiently, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin sapere to taste
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

Word Origin and History for sapience


late 14c., "wisdom, understanding," from Old French sapience, from Latin sapientia "good taste, good sense, discernment; intelligence, wisdom," from sapiens (see sapient).

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"wise," late 15c. (early 15c. as a surname), from Old French sapient, from Latin sapientem (nominative sapiens), present participle of sapere "to taste, have taste, be wise," from PIE root *sep- "to taste, perceive" (cf. Old Saxon an-sebban "to perceive, remark," Old High German antseffen, Old English sefa "mind, understanding, insight").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper