An overview of the field of optical waveguide sensors is presented. Some emphasis is laid on the development of a single scheme under which the diversity of sensor principles can be arranged. First three types of sensors are distinguished: intrinsic, extrinsic and active. Next, two steps are distinguished in the sensing process: the physical alteration of the waveguide (via geometrical and/or materials effects) and the effect thereof on the guided light (changing phase and/or amplitude of the light modes). The diversity and common features of the field of optical waveguide sensors are demonstrated with the help of many examples.