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)

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 For their actions, Private Johnson and his sentry-mate on duty that night were the first Americans to be awarded the Croix de Guerre, one of France’s highest military honors. New York Times, 4 July 2022 Plus, there's sentry mode, which monitors the car's surroundings and takes video clips when the vehicle is unattended. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 While the two-story house once stood like a sentry overlooking acres of cow pasture, the neighborhood is now replete with luxury housing, four-lane roads and a bustle worthy of a community just seven miles from downtown. Bill Pennington, New York Times, 14 June 2022 Just inside, standing sentry, are two life-size Madame Tussauds–style figures of stereotypical twentieth-century flashers, replete with trench coats and veiny organs that jut from their trouser flies. Sam Lipsyte, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 For patients, owning an NFT of their medical data would be like creating a kind of sentry to guard that personal information. Sara Harrison, Scientific American, 13 Apr. 2022 One full-time staff member works in development, funded by a two-year grant; the other three on payroll work part-time, including director Wil Brant, a Navy vet who watches over the library’s operations with the quiet intensity of a sentry. Hannah Edgar,, 30 Mar. 2022 At least four homes on a patch of land between Tanager and Warbler courts burned all the way through the basements, cars stuck inside garages, brick chimneys standing sentry, the ubiquitous, eerie landmarks of the West’s post-fire landscapes. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Standing sentry outside the doors to the thick stone walled Great Room — said to be the former sugar boiling room — is a majestic weeping fig tree that, with its gnarled stature, appears far older than its mere 56 years. Jeanine Barone, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of sentry

1608, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sentry

perhaps from obsolete sentry sanctuary, watchtower

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best home security camera systems.

Learn More About sentry

Dictionary Entries Near sentry

sentinel crab


sentry board

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sentry

Last Updated

20 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sentry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for sentry


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sentry

Nglish: Translation of sentry for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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