senso-, sens-, sensi-, sensori-, sent-

(Latin: feeling, perception through physical awareness; to discern or detect by touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing, etc.)

The words in this list refer either to physical or mental perceptions, or a combination of both of them.

sensually (adverb), more sensually, most sensually
Characteristic of an activity that gratifies or satisfies the physical interests and nature of an individual: Shirley's brother enjoyed the sensually gratifying pleasures of a massage after a long week of strenuous activity.
sensuous (adjective), more sensuous, most sensuous
A reference to the enjoyment of the pleasures of life: Mike has a sensuous appreciation for aesthetic pleasures that come from the beauty of color, sound, etc.; so, he has many paintings and classical music to satisfy his desires.
sensuously (adverb), more sensuously, most sensuously
Pertaining to physical satisfaction rather than mental or intellectual accomplishments: Jane has a sensuously daily desire for the odor and sight of fresh flowers to be in her apartment.
sentence (s) (noun), sentences (pl)
1. A group of words arranged according to grammatical rules that communicate with a statement, or with questions, demands, with wishes, etc.: In written English, the first word of a sentence is capitalized and the sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

Sentences usually have subjects and verbs and should be constructed to form complete sentences

2. A punishment given to someone who has been convicted of breaking the law as indicated by a legal court: The sentence of the first offender for possession of drugs was five years in prison.
3. Etymology: from a Latin ancestor sententia, which originally meant "feeling" because it was a derivative of sentire, "to feel".

Later, it expanded to mean "an opinion, a judgment"; which developed into the use of English sentence, meaning "judicial declaration of punishment".

sentence (verb), sentences; sentenced; sentencing
To officiously state what the punishment will be for someone by a court of law: The defendant was sentenced by the judge to ten years in prison for armed robbery."
sentencing (s) (noun) (no plural)
A time when a court trial has determined that someone is guilty of a crime and a pronouncement is made: The sentencing of the defendant by the judge was twelve years for breaking into several apartments and stealing jewelry, cash, and computers when the residents were not home.
sententious (adjective), more sententious, most sententious
1. Expressing much in a few words; short and pithy (concise and full of meaning); terse (brief and to the point) and forceful: The Mayor, who was the after dinner speaker, was fond of talking in a sententious manner, which made him popular because people were not interested in long speeches.
2. Full of, or fond of using, maxims, proverbs, etc.; especially, in a way that is pompous and moralizing; that is, inclined to moralize more than is merited or appreciated: Although Joan had a clear speaking style, when she was writing, she tended to use a more sententious style, filling the pages with moralistic phrases.
3. Etymology: "full of meaning," from Middle French (about 1400-1600) sententieux, from Latin sententiosus, "full of meaning, pithy"; from sententia, "opinion, maxim". The meaning of "addicted to pompous moralizing" was first recorded in 1598.
Pertaining to energetic expressions or a few oratory word that are presented with pompous formality.
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sententiously (adverb), more sententiously, most sententiously
In a manner that is pithy, concise, and expressing much in a few words: The professor of literature emphasized that some authors have been sententiously writing about what people should and should not do.
sentience (s) (noun) (usually no plural)
1. The ability of the nervous system to receive stimuli: The doctor tested the sentience of the patient's nervous system by striking a tuning fork and placing it on the ankle bone.
2. The simplest form of cognition, in which there is insignificant awareness without any associated meanings: The zoology students devised a way to test the sentience of frogs by determining whether the they could learn to associate the flashing of a light with the provision of food.
3. A capacity for feeling; consciousness: After hitting her head on the dashboard at the time of her accident, Sandy lost her sentience for a few minutes.
sentient (adjective), more sentient, most sentient
1. Characterized by being able to experience what is going on; consciousness: All sentient animals are able to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel; unless they have been deprived of a sensory element as a result of injury or some other damage to their senses.
2. Capable of responding emotionally rather than intellectually: Carol is convinced that her cat has sentient reactions when she is packing her suitcase to go on vacation because her feline always reacts by being sad and angry.
sentiently (adverb), more sentiently, most sentiently
Descriptive of having the ability to perceive or to be aware of one's physical feelings: After his long walk in the mountains, Bert was sentiently fatigued or almost completely worn out.
sentiment (s) (noun), sentiments (pl)
1. An idea, opinion, or attitude based on feelings or emotions more than with reason: A good politician should understand public sentiment which involves the opinions that are held by most people.
2. Feelings of sympathy, kindness, love, etc.: Bridget looks forward to seeing movies that have warmth and sentiment in them and avoids the violent and cruel ones.
sentimental (adjective), more sentimental, most sentimental
Relating to having or showing tenderness, emotion, delicate feelings, etc.: Marie saved her wedding gown for sentimental reasons.

Jack and Jill took a sentimental journey back to California where they had met and married twenty years ago.

sentimentalism (s) (noun) (no plural)
A tendency to express feelings of love, sadness, excitement, etc.; often in a way that seems foolish or overly done: The sentimentalism of the winning football team, and the supporters, obviously was excessive and way too much for most viewers who were watching on TV!
sentimentalist (s) (noun), sentimentalists (pl)
Anyone who is too emotional, tearful, or easily upset: Karl is a sentimentalist who often cries when he thinks about how he was mistreated as a child.

If you would like to take self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this section, then click on these Sensory Quizzes so you can see how much you know about the following "senso-, sensi-" words or learn more about them.


Related-word units meaning feeling: aesth-; pass-, pati-; patho-.