sentence
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈsɛntəns/
    • (GA) IPA: [ˈsɛntn̩t͡s], [ˈsɛnʔn̩t͡s]
Noun

sentence (plural sentences)

  1. (dated) The decision or judgement of a jury or court; a verdict. [from 14th c.]
    The court returned a sentence of guilt in the first charge, but innocence in the second.
  2. The judicial order for a punishment to be imposed on a person convicted of a crime. [from 14th c.]
    The judge declared a sentence of death by hanging for the infamous cattle rustler.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      The murderer, he recalled, had been tried and sentenced to imprisonment for life, but was pardoned by a merciful governor after serving a year of his sentence.
  3. A punishment imposed on a person convicted of a crime.
  4. (obsolete) A saying, especially from a great person; a maxim, an apophthegm. [14th-19th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 40, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Men (saith an ancient Greek sentence) are tormented by the opinions they have of things, and not by things themselves.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 206:
      I am told that she writes well, and that all her letters are full of sentences.
  5. (grammar) A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop. [from 15th c.]
    The children were made to construct sentences consisting of nouns and verbs from the list on the chalkboard.
  6. (logic) A formula with no free variables. [from 20th c.]
  7. (computing theory) Any of the set of strings that can be generated by a given formal grammar. [from 20th c.]
  8. (obsolete) Sense; meaning; significance.
    • 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales. General Prologue:
      Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
      And that was seyd in forme and reverence
      And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence ...
    • 1649, John Milton, Eikonoklastes:
      now to the discourse itself, voluble enough, and full of sentence, but that, for the most part, either specious rather than solid, or to his cause nothing pertinent.
    • 1915, T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":
      Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse ...
  9. (obsolete) One's opinion; manner of thinking. [14th-17th c.]
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II:
      My sentence is for open war.
  10. (now, rare) A pronounced opinion or judgment on a given question. [from 14th c.]
    • By them [Luther's works] we may pass sentence upon his doctrines.
Synonyms Related terms Translations
  • Russian: выска́зывание
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

sentence (sentences, present participle sentencing; past and past participle sentenced)

  1. To declare a sentence on a convicted person; to doom; to condemn to punishment.
    The judge sentenced the embezzler to ten years in prison, along with a hefty fine.
    • Nature herself is sentenced in your doom.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      The murderer, he recalled, had been tried and sentenced to imprisonment for life, but was pardoned by a merciful governor after serving a year of his sentence.
  2. (obsolete) To decree or announce as a sentence.
  3. (obsolete) To utter sententiously.
Translations


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