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From Latin sapiens.



  1. Used as a specific epithet.

Derived termsEdit



From Translingual (New Latin) Homo sapiens, from Latin sapiēns, present active participle of sapiō (discern, be capable of discerning).


sapiens (plural sapiens)

  1. Homo sapiens.
    • 2000, William H. Libaw, How we got to be human: subjective minds with objective bodies‎, page 277:
      The earliest sapiens were gatherers, scavengers, and hunters of food.
    • 2005, Sherwood L. Washburn, Classification and Human Evolution‎, page 335:
      Even if we assume that the rate of change was slow and the evolving population large, we must still assume that sapiens was rather isolated.




Present active participle of sapiō (discern, be capable of discerning).



sapiens m, f, n (genitive sapientis); third declension

  1. discerning, wise, judicious
  2. discreet
  3. (substantive) a wise man, sage, philosopher
    • Anonymous (Can we date this quote?)
      Sapiens nihil affirmat quod non probat
      "a wise man asserts nothing which he does not (ap)prove."
  4. (New Latin) Used as a taxonomic epithet


Third declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative sapiēns sapientēs sapientia
genitive sapientis sapientium
dative sapientī sapientibus
accusative sapientem sapiēns sapientēs sapientia
ablative sapiente, sapientī1 sapientibus
vocative sapiēns sapientēs sapientia

1When used purely as an adjective.



  • sapiens in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sapiens in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • SAPIENS in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • sapiens” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • a wise man is in no way affected by this: hoc nihil ad sapientem pertinet
    • it is incompatible with the nature of a wise man; the wise are superior to such things: hoc in sapientem non cadit
    • what do we understand by 'a wise man': quem intellegimus sapientem?