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).



sapiēns 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."


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 & 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 (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (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?
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