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

The previous prosecutors had already planned to seek a death sentence. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Defense lawyers allege financial conflicts as prosecutors seek death penalty in honor killing case," 14 May 2018 That led to his 2004 conviction and death sentence. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Death row inmate charged in death of woman’s son 25 years later | Miami Herald," 17 Jan. 2018 Her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, received the death sentence for first-degree murder involving the infliction of torture. NBC News, "Death of Anthony Avalos has parallels to another child abuse case in L.A.," 8 July 2018 The country would just be signing a death sentence for women., "What Will Happen If Abortion Is Banned In The U.S.? Just Look At These Countries.," 3 July 2018 In addition to the death sentence Tibbetts received for Hicks' killing, the inmate also received life imprisonment for fatally beating and stabbing his wife, 42-year-old Judith Crawford, during an argument over Tibbetts' crack cocaine habit. Andrew Welsh-huggins, Fox News, "Board again rejects mercy for killer despite juror's concern," 22 June 2018 The decision amounted to a death sentence for ZTE, which relies on U.S. parts. Matthew Daly,, "Senate backs bill blocking deal with Chinese telecom firm ZTE," 19 June 2018 Williams, who has long maintained his innocence, is facing a death sentence for the 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle. CBS News, "After governor's resignation, fate of Missouri man on death row in doubt," 14 June 2018 Rice also discussed how much progress has been made in cancer research, particularly leukemia, which was once akin to a death sentence. Jacob Mcadams, Houston Chronicle, "Relay for Life raises $61K for cancer research," 23 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of death sentence

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for death sentence

The first known use of death sentence was in 1655

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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

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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