death sentence


Definition of death sentence

1 : a sentence condemning a convicted defendant to death
2 : an affliction or a situation that is considered to be fatal also : a prognosis of death

Examples of death sentence in a Sentence

She received a death sentence for the murders.
Recent Examples on the Web Despite her daughter’s death sentence, the crown princess secretly smuggles the baby out of the palace and instructs that she be left at a Buddhist temple. Joan Macdonald, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 It was discovered that three of his major coronary arteries were clogged by 95%, 90% and 85%, a death sentence to be sure. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 30 Sep. 2021 Considering the Tide’s talent advantage, that’s almost a death sentence for the Air Raid, as Mississippi State gained 200 yards and didn’t score a point in last year’s meeting. Christopher Smith, al, 20 Sep. 2021 Instead, the court upheld Donte McDaniel’s death sentence for the two murders and said the instructions do not violate a defendant’s right to a unanimous verdict. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug. 2021 Lahore High Court overturns Musharraf’s death sentence. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 4 Aug. 2021 Alcala’s initial death sentence for Samsoe’s death was overturned in 1984 amid the reckoning then over the death penalty. Cynthia Littleton,, 25 July 2021 Dallas barely had the puck in the opening 15 minutes and failed to establish a forecheck, a death sentence for a team that relies on forechecking. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, 29 Apr. 2021 The re-sentencing occurred after the Florida Supreme Court struck down the first death sentence against Cristian E. Cruz, now 28. Frank Fernandez,, 16 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'death sentence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of death sentence

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About death sentence

Time Traveler for death sentence

Time Traveler

The first known use of death sentence was in 1655

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near death sentence

death row

death sentence


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for death sentence

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Death sentence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for death sentence

death sentence


English Language Learners Definition of death sentence

: the decision by a court of law that the punishment for someone's crime will be death
: something (such as a disease) that is sure to cause death
: an act or event that ends something permanently

death sentence

Legal Definition of death sentence

— see sentence


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!