noun \ˈsen-tən(t)s, -tənz\

: a group of words that expresses a statement, question, command, or wish

law : the punishment given by a court of law

Full Definition of SENTENCE

obsolete :  opinion; especially :  a conclusion given on request or reached after deliberation
a :  judgment 2a; specifically :  one formally pronounced by a court or judge in a criminal proceeding and specifying the punishment to be inflicted upon the convict
b :  the punishment so imposed <serve out a sentence>
archaic :  maxim, saw
a :  a word, clause, or phrase or a group of clauses or phrases forming a syntactic unit which expresses an assertion, a question, a command, a wish, an exclamation, or the performance of an action, that in writing usually begins with a capital letter and concludes with appropriate end punctuation, and that in speaking is distinguished by characteristic patterns of stress, pitch, and pauses
b :  a mathematical or logical statement (as an equation or a proposition) in words or symbols
:  period 2b

Examples of SENTENCE

  1. He is serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery.
  2. <the court-martial pronounced a sentence of not guilty on all counts of cowardice>

Origin of SENTENCE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin sententia feeling, opinion, from *sentent-, *sentens, irregular present participle of sentire to feel — more at sense
First Known Use: 14th century


transitive verb

law : to officially state the punishment given to (someone) by a court of law


Full Definition of SENTENCE

:  to impose a sentence on
:  to cause to suffer something <sentenced these most primitive cultures to extinction — E. W. Count>

Examples of SENTENCE

  1. The defendant was sentenced and fined.
  2. <the judge sentenced him to a fine of $50 and time served>

First Known Use of SENTENCE



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In criminal law, a judgment formally pronouncing the punishment to be inflicted on a person convicted of a crime. Among the major types are the concurrent sentence, which runs at the same time as another; the consecutive sentence, which runs before or after another; the mandatory sentence, which is specifically required by statute as punishment for an offense; and the suspended sentence, the imposition or execution of which is suspended by the court. See also capital punishment, parole.


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