[sen-shuh nt ‐shee-uh nt ‐tee-uh nt]


having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
characterized by sensation and consciousness.


a person or thing that is sentient.
Archaic. the conscious mind.

Origin of sentient

1595–1605; < Latin sentient- (stem of sentiēns, present participle of sentīre to feel), equivalent to senti- verb stem + -ent- -ent
Related formssen·tient·ly, adverbnon·sen·tient, adjectivenon·sen·tient·ly, adverbun·sen·tient, adjectiveun·sen·tient·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unsentient

Historical Examples of unsentient

  • The 'distant' is eternal glory and intelligence; the other principle some have called the unsentient primary.

  • This is either a dissolution of the mutual involution of the atoms, or a similar dispersion of the unsentient elements.

    Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

    Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

  • In short, as body is the unsentient cause of all feelings, so mind is the sentient subject (in the German sense) of them, viz.

  • Not even the unreasoning animal, the speechless plant, the unsentient stone, shall be excluded from this universal festival.

British Dictionary definitions for unsentient



having the power of sense perception or sensation; conscious


rare a sentient person or thing
Derived Formssentiently, adverb

Word Origin for sentient

C17: from Latin sentiēns feeling, from sentīre to perceive
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 unsentient



1630s, "capable of feeling," from Latin sentientem (nominative sentiens) "feeling," present participle of sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)). Meaning "conscious" (of something) is from 1815.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unsentient in Medicine


[sĕnshənt, -shē-ənt]


Having sense perception; conscious.
Experiencing sensation or feeling.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.