Someone sentient is able to feel things, or sense them.Sentient usually occurs in phrases like “sentient beings” and “sentient creatures,” making it clear that things that don’t have life, don’t have feelings.

Sentient comes from the Latin sentient, “feeling,” and it describes things that are alive, able to feel and per- ceive, and show awareness or responsiveness. Having senses makes something sentient, or able to smell, communicate, touch, see, or hear.

“A sentient being is a being that, by virtue of itscharacteristics, has the capability of experiencing suffering, both at physical and psychological levels,regardless of the species to which it belongs. “Only themembers of the animal kingdom can be sentient, although not every animal species possesses the characteristics that would make their members beconsidered sentient beings.” “Sentient animals arebeings that have a physical and psychological sensibil- ity, which allows them – in the same way as humans –to experience pain and pleasure. And it is certain that they naturally seek, by all means available to them, toavoid painful experiences.”

“A conscious being’s capacity to feel and perceive; inreference to animals, it often refers to the specificability to feel pain and suffer.” – Leslie Bisgould

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/S/SentientBeing.aspx https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/sentient