Sankhata is an adjective or noun for any phenomena conditioned by other phenomena, as in produced by a cause, for it does not arise on its own. It also denotes mental creations in the Pali language. As explained by the dependent origination concept (see:Twelve Nidanas), sankhatas condition the consciousness (vijnana in Pali) and are conditioned by ignorance (avidyā in Pali). Sankhatas are part of the name and form (see:Namarupa) and so are one of the five aggregates (see:skandhas).

Sankhata is contrasted with Asankhata, which means Unconditioned (that which is of its own without any dependence on conditioned phenomena) referring to Nibbana.

Sankhatas can be either pernicious, neutral or positive - associated with similar consciousness.