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

These superbugs can’t be fought with any antibiotics, and getting infected with them can often be a death sentence. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Found 'Superbugs' in Remote Arctic Wilderness," 29 Jan. 2019 The trial judge imposed death sentences for the Bowman and Levy murders. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Ted Bundy: Looking Back at the Killing Spree That Landed Him on Death Row," 25 Jan. 2019 Hundreds, including many Muslims, languish in Pakistani jails under the blasphemy laws, which include a mandatory death sentence for insults to the prophet Muhammad. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistani Woman Acquitted of Blasphemy Is Caught in Legal Limbo," 12 Nov. 2018 Despite airing in a time slot that was once considered a death sentence for TV shows, Blue Bloods has maintained impressively high ratings in the Friday night spot and will return at its usual time for the new season. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Everything You Should Know About the New Season of 'Blue Bloods'," 3 Aug. 2018 Since 1976, Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country, has commuted death sentences for serious crimes to life in prison. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Sri Lanka Will Start Hanging Its Drug Dealers to 'Replicate the Success of Philippines'," 12 July 2018 Korrey Raine White Rinke is charged with capital murder and faces a potential death sentence for the killing of 46-year-old Julianna Pappas. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Trial ordered in 2016 rape and murder of Overland Park woman," 25 June 2018 In 2005, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry commuted the death sentences of 28 juvenile offenders in prison to bring the state into compliance with the Roper decision. Nick Penzenstadler, USA TODAY, "Texas shooting suspect won’t face death penalty, could be paroled," 19 May 2018 The case of Asia Bibi had drawn an international outcry and demonstrations at home by Islamic extremists, who demanded that the death sentence decided by a lower court in 2010, be maintained. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Top Court Clears Way for Woman in Blasphemy Case to Leave Pakistan," 29 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for death sentence

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on death sentence

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with death sentence

Comments on death sentence

What made you want to look up death sentence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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