Definition of sapient in English:


Line breaks: sapi|ent
Pronunciation: /ˈseɪpɪənt


  • 1 formal Wise, or attempting to appear wise: members of the female quarter were more sapient but no less savage than the others
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    • At the very far end of the rostrum one could just discern a tribunal of sapient figures seated around a table.
    • This may sound extremely unfair to our esteemed police force, to the hardworking prosecutors at the Attorney General's Office and the sapient judges who preside over our courts.
    • One thing though, I'd never before so personally perceived nature's absolute mastery at using the unwitting collaboration of its sapient members to mimic its fungal elements.
  • 1.1(Chiefly in science fiction) intelligent: sapient life forms
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    • In the wake of their travels, they have left half of the galaxy devoid of sapient life, primarily through the use of their Marauder starships.
  • 2Relating to the human species (Homo sapiens): our sapient ancestors of 40,000 years ago
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    • Perhaps in a brief quiet contemplation that this same view was experienced by our modern sapient ancestors over 164,000 years ago.


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  • A human of the species Homo sapiens.
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    • As for my fellow sapients, I have no desire to control their actions.



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  • With much sapience, he ruled that the categorical imperative of the situation was that charity begins at home and the guilty party must pay for his own beer that evening.
  • As much experience is prudence, so is much science sapience.
  • Of course, this suggestion will seem absurd if we are still tempted to assimilate sapience to sentience, thus to think of sensations as the objects of ‘immediate’ knowledge.


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  • This is the reiterated message from the gods of which the daily press delivers itself so sapiently, and by which it maintains its popularity and power.


late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin sapient- 'being wise', from the verb sapere.

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