Meaning of SENTENCE in English


I. ˈsent ə n(t)s, -tən-, -nz noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sententia feeling, opinion, expression of opinion, judgment, maxim, from (assumed) sentent-, sentens (irregular present participle of sentire to feel) + -ia -y — more at sense


a. obsolete : a stated opinion, decision, or judgment ; especially : a conclusion given on request or reached after deliberation

such applause was heard as Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased, advising peace — John Milton

b. : a decision or judicial determination of a court or tribunal : decree: as

(1) : the judgment of a court pronounced in a cause in civil and admiralty law

(2) : the judgment passed by a court or judge on a person on trial as a criminal or offender

(3) : the order by which a court or judge imposes punishment or penalty upon a person found guilty ; especially : the punishment or penalty so imposed

the sentence was 10 years and a large fine

2. : a brief spoken or written passage; as

a. : a short or pithy saying usually conveying moral instruction : axiom , maxim , saw

b. usually capitalized : one of the verses of Scripture with which morning and evening prayers and the burial service commence in churches of the Anglican communion

3. : a grammatically self-contained unit consisting of a word or a syntactically related group of words that expresses an assertion, a question, a command, a wish, or an exclamation, that in writing usually begins with a capital letter and concludes with appropriate end punctuation, and that in speech is phonetically distinguished by various patterns of stress, pitch, and pauses — compare minor sentence , predication

4. : a complete musical idea usually consisting of two phrases : period

5. : a declarative sentence or statement in logic : proposition

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English sentencen, from Middle French sentencier, from Late Latin sententiare, from Latin sententia sentence

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to decree, decide, or announce judicially


a. : to pronounce sentence on : to condemn to penalty or punishment

the defendant was sentenced at the conclusion of the trial

b. : to prescribe the penalty or punishment of : doom — usually used with to

was tried on the charge of inciting to riot and sentenced to thirty days in jail — E.S.Bates

3. : to judge the merits of (as a person or thing)

let us not sentence the play before seeing it

4. : to cause to suffer or undergo something : destine

elopement sentenced her to exile — Ann F. Wolfe

forces would be sentenced to an indefinite and costly stalemate — Time

set down his reactions to the quiet desperation of life they are sentenced to endure — W.F.Albright

intransitive verb

1. obsolete : to give judgment

2. : to pronounce sentence

the judges assemble for sentencing

III. noun

: a mathematical or logical statement (as an equation or a proposition) in words or symbols

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.