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From Middle French sentence, from Latin sententia ‎(way of thinking, opinion, sentiment), from sentiens, present participle of sentīre ‎(to feel, think); see sentient, sentience, sense, scent.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɛntəns/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sen‧tence


sentence ‎(plural sentences)

  1. (obsolete) Sense; meaning; significance.
    • Milton
      The discourse itself, voluble enough, and full of sentence.
  2. (obsolete) One's opinion; manner of thinking. [14th-17th c.]
    • Milton
      My sentence is for open war.
  3. (now rare) A pronounced opinion or judgment on a given question. [from 14th c.]
    • Atterbury
      By them [Luther's works] we may pass sentence upon his doctrines.
  4. (dated) The decision or judgement of a jury or court; a verdict. [from 14th c.]
    The court returned a sentence of guilt in the first charge, but innocence in the second.
  5. The judicial order for a punishment to be imposed on a person convicted of a crime. [from 14th c.]
    The judge declared a sentence of death by hanging for the infamous cattle rustler.
  6. A punishment imposed on a person convicted of a crime.
  7. (obsolete) A saying, especially form a great person; a maxim, an apophthegm. [14th-19th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.40:
      Men (saith an ancient Greek sentence) are tormented by the opinions they have of things, and not by things themselves.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Broome to this entry?)
  8. (grammar) A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop. [from 15th c.]
    The children were made to construct sentences consisting of nouns and verbs from the list on the chalkboard.
  9. (logic) A formula with no free variables. [from 20th c.]
  10. (computing theory) Any of the set of strings that can be generated by a given formal grammar. [from 20th c.]



Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


sentence ‎(third-person singular simple present sentences, present participle sentencing, simple past and past participle sentenced)

  1. To declare a sentence on a convicted person; to doom; to condemn to punishment.
    The judge sentenced the embezzler to ten years in prison, along with a hefty fine.
    • Dryden
      Nature herself is sentenced in your doom.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      The murderer, he recalled, had been tried and sentenced to imprisonment for life, but was pardoned by a merciful governor after serving a year of his sentence.
  2. (obsolete) To decree or announce as a sentence.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete) To utter sententiously.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Feltham to this entry?)


External linksEdit



sentence f

  1. sentence (formula with no free variables)
  2. sentence (grammar)




sentence f ‎(plural sentences)

  1. sentence
  2. verdict
  3. maxim, saying, adage



sentence f (5th declension)

  1. aphorism
  2. maxim



Middle FrenchEdit


Latin sententia.


sentence f (plural sentences)

  1. sentence (judgement; verdict)
    • 1532, François Rabelais, Pantagruel:
      [] puis retourna s'asseoir et commença pronuncer la sentence comme s'ensuyt :
      [] then went back and sat down and started to give the verdict as follows:
  2. sentence (grammatically complete series of words)
    • 1552, François Rabelais, Le Tiers Livre:
      tant a cause des amphibologies, equivocques, & obscuritez des motz, que de la briefveté des sentences

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