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Webster 1913 Edition


Sapient

Sa′pi-ent

,
Adj.
[L.
sapiens
,
-entis
, p. pr. of
sapere
to taste, to have sense, to know. See
Sage
,
Adj.
]
Wise; sage; discerning; – often in irony or contempt.
Where the
sapient
king
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
Milton.
Syn. – Sage; sagacious; knowing; wise; discerning.

Webster 1828 Edition


Sapient

SA'PIENT

,
Adj.
Wise; sage; discerning.
There the sapient king held dalliance.

Definition 2022


sapient

sapient

English

Adjective

sapient (comparative more sapient, superlative most sapient)

  1. Attempting to appear wise or discerning.
    • 1890, Henry James, The Tragic Muse.
      "... A man would blush to say to himself in the darkness of the night the things he stands up on a platform in the garish light of day to stuff into the ears of a multitude whose intelligence he pretends that he esteems.... Therefore, why be sapient and solemn about it, like an editorial in a newspaper?" Nick added, with a smile.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 217:
      In Europe I had been told by sapient academics that there wasn't really any class system in the United States: well, you couldn't prove that by the conditions in California's agribusinesses, or indeed its urban factories.
  2. (dated) Possessing wisdom and discernment; wise, learned.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, Scene 6,
      [To Edgar] Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer. / [To the Fool] Thou, sapient sir, sit here.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9, lines 439-43,
      Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned / Or of revived Adonis, or renowned / Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son, / Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king / Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
    • 1839, "Bewitched Butter" in W. B. Yates (ed.), Irish Fairy and Folk Tales (1892), Barnes & Noble, 2009, p. 295,
      She had five or six cows; but it was observed by her sapient neighbors that she sold more butter every year than other farmers' wives who had twenty.
  3. (chiefly science fiction) Of a species or life-form, possessing intelligence or self-awareness.
    • 1962 January, Piper, Henry Beam, “Naudsonce”, in Analog Science Fact and Science Fiction, volume 68, number 5, page 9:
      It was inhabited by a sapient humanoid race, and some of them were civilized enough to put it in Class V, and Colonial Office doctrine on Class V planets was rigid.

Synonyms

Related terms

Translations

References

Noun

sapient (plural sapients)

  1. (chiefly science fiction) An intelligent, self-aware being.
    • 1960, Farmer, Philip José, A Woman a Day, page 30:
      It seemed to him a possibility that the Cold War Corps of March might have contacted hitherto unknown sapients on some just discovered interstellar planet.

Synonyms

  • See Wikisaurus:sentient

References

Anagrams


Latin

Verb

sapient

  1. third-person plural future active indicative of sapiō

Old French

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin sapiēns. Compare savant

Adjective

sapient m (oblique and nominative feminine singular sapient or sapiente)

  1. wise; sapient

Declension

Related terms

Descendants


Romanian

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin sapiēns, sapientis.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌsa.piˈent/

Adjective

sapient m, n (feminine singular sapientă, masculine plural sapienți, feminine and neuter plural sapiente)

  1. (rare) learned, wise

Declension

Synonyms

Related terms