sen·​try | \ ˈsen-trē How to pronounce sentry (audio) \
plural sentries

Definition of sentry

: guard, watch especially : a soldier standing guard at a point of passage (such as a gate)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sentry in a Sentence

The general placed an armed sentry at the bridge. a sentry posted to watch for intruders

Recent Examples on the Web

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India The Taj Mahal Palace is a 1903, grey-and-white stone, red-domed wedding cake of a building that stands sentry over Mumbai’s harbor. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Hotels in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 This is akin to removing your sentries from guard posts on military compounds. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Trump administration is dismantling financial protections for the military," 14 Aug. 2018 Most had fences with barbed wire, guard towers with armed sentries, and few comforts. Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, "Celebrating Independence Day in America's detention camps – during World War II and now," 2 July 2018 Scientists have just genetically retooled human cells to act as micro disease sentries and drug factories inside the body. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Engineered Cells Can Create Medicine Inside Your Body," 17 Dec. 2015 Until there are more such officers throughout the state, the sentry program is a way to protect students, Ivey said. Madison Park, CNN, "Alabama will allow trained school administrators to be armed," 1 June 2018 The foot guide passed along the all-clear signal from the sentries in the trees, and a small group of migrants began to sprint toward a 18-foot steel security fence blocking their passage into the United States. Nicholas Kulish,, "Desperation led migrant to face perils, and price, of smuggling," 1 July 2018 The researchers propose that a weakening of the immune system may explain the many perils of L.O.Y. When white blood cells that serve as immune sentries lose their Y chromosome, Dr. Dumanski said, their surveillance skills falter. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Secrets of the Y Chromosome," 11 June 2018 Since the 1920s, Hale has stood sentry as visitors entered the museum. Susan Dunne,, "The Sculptures Outside The Wadsworth, Explained," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sentry.' 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 sentry

1608, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sentry

perhaps from obsolete sentry sanctuary, watchtower

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sentry

Statistics for sentry

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sentry

The first known use of sentry was in 1608

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sentry



English Language Learners Definition of sentry

: a soldier who guards a door, gate, etc.


sen·​try | \ ˈsen-trē How to pronounce sentry (audio) \
plural sentries

Kids Definition of sentry

: a person (as a soldier) on duty as a guard

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sentry

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sentry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sentry

Spanish Central: Translation of sentry

Nglish: Translation of sentry for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sentry

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


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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