What does the word sentient mean?

Usage examples for sentient

  1. After breakfast this morning, when I had seen her, and listened to her, and, so to speak, felt her, in every sentient atom of my frame, I passed from her sunny presence into the chill drawing- room. – Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
  2. This virtue, one of the noblest with which man is endowed, seems to arise incidentally from our sympathies becoming more tender and more widely diffused, until they are extended to all sentient beings. – The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. I (1st edition) by Charles Darwin