1

sentence

noun sen·tence \ ˈsen-tᵊn(t)s , -tᵊnz \

Definition of sentence

1 obsolete :opinion; especially :a conclusion given on request or reached after deliberation
2 a :judgment 4a; 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
3 archaic :maxim, saw
4 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 (such as an equation or a proposition) in words or symbols
5 :period 2b

Examples of sentence in a Sentence

  1. He is serving a 10-year sentence for armed robbery.

Recent Examples of sentence from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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

2

sentence

verb

Definition of sentence

sentenced; sentencing
transitive verb
1 :to impose a sentence on
2 :to cause to suffer something
  • sentenced these most primitive cultures to extinction
  • —E. W. Count

Examples of sentence in a Sentence

  1. The defendant was sentenced and fined.

  2. the judge sentenced him to a fine of $50 and time served

Recent Examples of sentence from the Web

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

First Known Use of sentence

1592



SENTENCE Defined for Kids

1

sentence

noun sen·tence \ ˈsen-tᵊns \

Definition of sentence for Students

1 :a group of words that makes a statement, asks a question, or expresses a command, wish, or exclamation
2 :punishment set by a court
  • He served a sentence for robbery.
3 :a mathematical statement (as an equation) in words or symbols

2

sentence

verb

Definition of sentence for Students

sentenced; sentencing
:to set the punishment of
  • The judge sentenced the prisoner.

Law Dictionary

1

sentence

noun sen·tence \ ˈsent-ᵊns, -ᵊnz \

legal Definition of sentence

1 :a judgment formally pronouncing the punishment to be inflicted on one convicted of a crime
2 :the punishment that one convicted of a crime is ordered to receive
concurrent sentence
:a sentence that runs at the same time as another
consecutive sentence
:a sentence that runs before or after another
cumulative sentence
:consecutive sentence in this entry; also :the combination of two or more consecutive sentences
death sentence
:a sentence condemning the convicted defendant to death
determinate sentence \di-ˈtər-mə-nət-\
:a sentence for a fixed rather than indeterminate length of time
general sentence
:a sentence that does not allocate the punishment imposed for the individual counts on which the defendant was convicted
Note: General sentences are impermissible.
indeterminate sentence \ˌin-di-ˈtər-mə-nət-\
:a sentence of minimum and maximum duration with the exact length to be later determined (as by a parole board)
life sentence
:a sentence of imprisonment for the rest of the convicted defendant's life
mandatory sentence
:a sentence that is specifically required or falls within a range required by statute as punishment for an offense
  • imposed the minimum mandatory sentence for distributing drugs near a school
presumptive sentence
:a sentence that is the presumed punishment for an offense and is subject to the upward or downward adjustment of its severity depending on aggravating and mitigating factors
split sentence
:a sentence of which part is served in prison and the other suspended and usually replaced by probation
suspended sentence
:a sentence the imposition or execution of which is suspended by the court

Origin and Etymology of sentence

Old French, opinion, judicial sentence, from Latin sententia, ultimately from sentire to feel, think, express an opinion

2

sentence

transitive verb

legal Definition of sentence

sentenced; sentencing
:to impose a sentence on


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