Sentient vs Sapient – What’s the difference?

Sentient vs Sapient

Some words in the English dictionary are confused at times due to their similarity in meaning and sentence usage. Two of the important words that are often confused are “sentient vs sapient.” Both words are directed to the reaction in a human being’s functioning, but both are easily confused because of their similarity.

As you read through this article, I will help you understand the difference between these two words and the best form of usage in a sentence.

Sentient vs Sapient

Sentient definition:

The word “Sentient” can be defined as the ability to feel or perceive things. It is derived from the Latin word “sentientem,” meaning “Feeling.”

The noun form “Sentience” is the ability to be Sentient. Sentient is often confused with Sapient because of its similarity with it.


  • Being sentient when it comes to the argument will help reduce harmful words.
  • Whales are highly sentient animals.
  • Dogs usually show their sentient feature whenever they are happy.

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Sentient vs Sapient

Sapient definition:

This is a significant feature for all human beings. Sapient is the ability to use your brain and think out ideas. It is also the ability to use intelligence, wisdom, and common sense in dealing with other people.

Being derived from the Latin wordsapientia, meaning Intelligence, it plays a major role when describing homo sapiens. The noun form “Sapience” is the ability to be Sapient.


  • Man is a sapient being.
  • Being sapient can be a trained or inborn feature.
  • Sometimes sapience can be lost from drug abuse.

Sentient vs Sapient (Summary)

  • Sentient – The ability to feel or perceive things.
  • Sapient – The ability to use your brain and think out ideas.

Although these two words seem confusing, one of the easy ways to differentiate the two is to remember that “Sapient” is similar to Homo sapien (Man), and man can think out ideas and solutions. Thus, sapient should mean “the ability to feel or perceive things.”

Awesome one, I hope this article on sentient vs sapient” answered your question.

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