Meaning of SENTENCE in English
I. sen ‧ tence 1 S1 W2 /ˈsent ə ns/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin sententia 'feeling, opinion, sentence' , from sentire ; ⇨ ↑ sentient ]
1 . a group of words that usually contains a subject and a verb, and expresses a complete idea. Sentences written in English begin with a capital letter and usually end with a ↑ full stop or a ↑ question mark :
His voice dropped at the end of the sentence.
in a sentence
It’s difficult to sum it up in one sentence.
short/simple/full/complex etc sentence
In a few short sentences, Quinn explained what he had done.
2 . a punishment that a judge gives to someone who is guilty of a crime:
She received an eight-year prison sentence.
He has just begun a life sentence for murder.
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ get/receive a sentence ( also be given a sentence )
She was given a three-year prison sentence.
▪ face a sentence (=be likely to receive a sentence)
He faces a long prison sentence if he is caught.
▪ serve a sentence (=spend time in prison)
Her husband is serving a two-year sentence for credit-card fraud.
▪ a crime carries a sentence (=that is the punishment for that crime)
Rape should carry an automatic life sentence.
▪ impose/hand down a sentence (=officially give someone a sentence)
The judge imposed a three-year sentence.
▪ pass sentence formal (=officially say what someone’s punishment will be)
It is now my duty to pass sentence.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + sentence
▪ a stiff/long sentence (=a long time in prison)
Police officers are demanding stiffer sentences for offenders.
▪ a light/short sentence (=a short time in prison)
We’re hoping that he gets off with a light sentence.
▪ a prison/jail sentence ( also a custodial sentence British English formal )
If found guilty, he faces a long jail sentence.
▪ a non-custodial sentence British English formal (=a punishment in which a person does not go to prison)
The judge said the offence was too serious for a non-custodial sentence.
▪ a five-year/eight-year etc sentence (=five/eight etc years in prison)
He was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary.
▪ the maximum sentence (=the most that can be given for a particular crime)
The maximum sentence for this offence is five years.
▪ a life sentence (=prison for the rest of your life, or a very long time)
In 1978 he was given a life sentence for attacking a 72-year-old woman.
▪ a death sentence (=a punishment of death)
Death sentences were handed down to eight of the accused.
▪ a suspended sentence (=one which someone will serve only if they commit another crime)
Her attacker got a two-year suspended sentence.
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▪ punishment something that is done in order to punish someone, or the act of punishing them:
I don’t think they deserved such a severe punishment.
The usual punishment is life in prison.
▪ sentence a punishment given by a judge in a court:
He was given a long prison sentence.
They asked for the maximum sentence.
▪ fine an amount of money that you must pay as a punishment:
I got an £80 fine for speeding.
There are heavy fines for drink-driving.
▪ penalty a general word for a punishment given to someone who has broken a law, rule, or agreement:
What’s the penalty if you get caught?
He called for stiffer penalties for crimes involving guns.
▪ the death penalty ( also capital punishment ) the system in which people are killed as a punishment for crimes:
If he is found guilty, he faces the death penalty.
A number of states have abolished capital punishment.
▪ community service unpaid work helping other people that someone does as punishment for a crime:
He was given a choice between doing 200 hours of community service, or a big fine.
▪ corporal punishment the punishment of children by hitting them:
I don’t agree with corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment was abolished in schools in 1987.
II. sentence 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
if a judge sentences someone who is guilty of a crime, they give them a punishment
sentence somebody to something
Sanchez was sentenced to three years in prison.
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▪ punish to do something unpleasant to someone because they have done something wrong or broken the law:
Drug smugglers are severely punished.
She wanted to punish him for deceiving her.
▪ fine to make someone pay money as a punishment:
The company was fined for safety violations.
▪ sentence if a judge sentences a criminal, he or she gives them an official punishment, usually sending them to prison for a period of time:
The judge sentenced Margolis to a year in prison.
▪ penalize ( also penalise British English ) to officially punish someone, especially by taking away their right to do something or by limiting their freedom in some way:
New laws will penalize firms that continue to pollute the environment.
▪ discipline to punish someone who has broken the rules of an organization that they belong to or work for:
Officers are expected to discipline soldiers who do not keep their uniforms in good condition.
▪ come down hard on somebody informal to punish someone or criticize them severely:
The judge came down hard on Harris, saying that his crime was ‘inexcusable’.
▪ make an example of somebody to punish someone so that other people are afraid to do the same thing:
Athletics officials felt they had to make an example of him for using banned drugs.
▪ teach somebody a lesson informal to do something in order to show someone that they must not do something again, when they have behaved very badly:
I didn't want to hurt him - I just wanted teach him a lesson.
Maybe a night in jail will teach him a lesson.
▪ make somebody pay (for something) informal to make someone wish they had never done something, by making them suffer:
We should make him pay for all the mischief he's caused!
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012