sen·​try ˈsen-trē How to pronounce sentry (audio)
plural sentries
: guard, watch
especially : a soldier standing guard at a point of passage (such as a gate)

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 And yet, its 45-foot stark white letters have loomed over Los Angeles for about that long, since before movies were talkies, their century-long sentry one of the few constants in a place roiling with change. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 Look for them tucked along island streets—the corners of which are attended by the crowing rooster sentries that amble around the place—or hidden behind thick tapestries of tropical trees decked with vibrant blooms drooping in the humid air. Caroline Rogers, Southern Living, 30 June 2023 Even with the battery removed, there’s a backup battery in the P1 to power its sentry mode, which will alert you if someone tries to steal or tamper with the vehicle. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 12 Oct. 2023 Next, glide through a conspicuously undisturbed dining room, where Jeanneret chairs are lined up like sentries on either side of a long table, step out into the backyard and head left, past the generous pool, into one of the secondary structures on the property. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Local guides are quick with all the stats: The 12-foot-high Wall had a 16-foot anti-tank ditch, a no-man’s land that was 30 to 160 feet wide, and 300 sentry towers. Rick Steves, Chicago Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 And behind it, a grid reaching almost to the top of the niche is forestalling a tall broad sentry, blood-red in color — an implicit reference to violence. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Even acting as a remote sentry if there's stuff going on outside the house. Tom Krisher, Detroit Free Press, 5 July 2023 This barrier is guarded ferociously day and night, with truly deadly sentries who are indifferent to human life. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 14 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sentry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from obsolete sentry sanctuary, watchtower

First Known Use

1608, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sentry was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near sentry

Cite this Entry

“Sentry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


sen·​try ˈsen-trē How to pronounce sentry (audio)
plural sentries
: guard entry 1 sense 3a
especially : a soldier standing guard at a point of passage

More from Merriam-Webster on sentry

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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