1. A thought, view, or attitude, especially one based mainly on emotion instead of reason: An anti-American sentiment swept through the country. See Synonyms at view.
a. Emotion; feeling: Different forms of music convey different kinds of sentiment.
b. Tender or romantic feeling: felt strong sentiment for each other.
c. Maudlin emotion; sentimentality: "He called her 'beloved madame,' and many other endearments, delivered with gallant mushiness, irony damascened with sentiment" (Robert D. Richardson).
3. The thought or emotion that underlies a remark or gesture: The child's gift was ridiculous, but the sentiment behind it moved the mother to tears.
4. The expression of delicate and sensitive feeling, especially in art and literature.
[Middle English sentement, from Old French, from Medieval Latin sentīmentum, from Latin sentīre, to feel; see sent- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.