[sey-pee-uh nt]


having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment.

Nearby words

  1. saphenous nerve,
  2. saphenous vein,
  3. sapid,
  4. sapience,
  5. sapiens,
  6. sapiential,
  7. sapiently,
  8. sapindaceous,
  9. sapiosexual,
  10. sapir

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sapient

British Dictionary definitions for sapient



often ironic wise or sagacious
Derived Formssapience, nounsapiently, adverb

Word Origin for sapient

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 sapient



"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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper