A term used in science fiction. A sophont is an intelligent biological entity. Sophonts have intelligence at about the same level as humans, and use language. They do not necessarily use tools.
Sophont is close to sentient, but is more specific, and doesn't have any archaic meanings to confuse people. It was first used in Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories in the early 1960s, and has been taken up be numerous authors since then, although 'sentient' is still more common than 'sophont'.
See also: Sapient