Definition of sentence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsentəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsentəns//
    Types of punishment, Grammar
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  1. 1   [countable] (grammar) a set of words expressing a statement, a question or an order, usually containing a subject and a verb. In written English sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop/period (.), a question mark (?) or an exclamation mark/exclamation point (!). See related entries: Grammar
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] the punishment given by a court a jail/prison sentence a light/heavy sentence to be under sentence of death The judge passed sentence (= said what the punishment would be). The prisoner has served (= completed) his sentence and will be released tomorrow. Wordfindercell, death row, discharge, justice, parole, prison, probation, remission, sentence, warder CollocationsCriminal justiceBreaking the law break/​violate/​obey/​uphold the law be investigated/​arrested/​tried for a crime/​a robbery/​fraud be arrested/ (especially North American English) indicted/​convicted on charges of rape/​fraud/(especially US English) felony charges be arrested on suspicion of arson/​robbery/​shoplifting be accused of/​be charged with murder/(especially North American English) homicide/​four counts of fraud face two charges of indecent assault admit your guilt/​liability/​responsibility (for something) deny the allegations/​claims/​charges confess to a crime grant/​be refused/​be released on/​skip/​jump bailThe legal process stand/​await/​bring somebody to/​come to/​be on trial take somebody to/​come to/​settle something out of court face/​avoid/​escape prosecution seek/​retain/​have the right to/​be denied access to legal counsel hold/​conduct/​attend/​adjourn a hearing/​trial sit on/​influence/​persuade/​convince the jury sit/​stand/​appear/​be put/​place somebody in the dock plead guilty/​not guilty to a crime be called to/​enter (British English) the witness box take/​put somebody on the stand/(North American English) the witness stand call/​subpoena/​question/​cross-examine a witness give/​hear the evidence against/​on behalf of somebody raise/​withdraw/​overrule an objection reach a unanimous/​majority verdict return/​deliver/​record a verdict of not guilty/​unlawful killing/​accidental death convict/​acquit the defendant of the crime secure a conviction/​your acquittal lodge/​file an appeal appeal (against)/challenge/​uphold/​overturn a conviction/​verdictSentencing and punishment pass sentence on somebody carry/​face/​serve a seven-year/​life sentence receive/​be given the death penalty be sentenced to ten years (in prison/​jail) carry/​impose/​pay a fine (of $3 000)/a penalty (of 14 years imprisonment) be imprisoned/​jailed for drug possession/​fraud/​murder do/​serve time/​ten years be sent to/​put somebody in/​be released from jail/​prison be/​put somebody/​spend X years on death row be granted/​be denied/​break (your) parole see also death sentence, life sentence See related entries: Types of punishment
  3. Word Origin Middle English (in the senses ‘way of thinking, opinion’, ‘court's declaration of punishment’, and ‘gist (of a piece of writing)’): via Old French from Latin sententia ‘opinion’, from sentire ‘feel, be of the opinion’.Extra examples Complete the following sentence: ‘I love dictionaries because…’. Cooke was so nervous he could barely string a sentence together. Does the sentence contain an adverb? He can barely form a grammatical sentence. He has been in prison for two months under sentence of death. He has begun a life sentence for Carol’s murder. He spent a week in custody awaiting sentence. He tells her not to end her sentences with prepositions. He turned state’s evidence in return for a reduced sentence. He was imprisoned under sentence of death. He will have to serve a life sentence. I came across the following sentence in a paper recently… I kept reading the same sentence over and over again. Peter finished Jane’s sentence for her. She could face a long prison sentence. She punctuated her sentence with a well-aimed kick at his right shin. The US Supreme Court recently upheld both of these sentences. The argument can be distilled into a single sentence. The death sentence may be commuted to life imprisonment. The judge imposed the mandatory sentence for murder. The judge will pass sentence on the accused this afternoon. The offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. This type of assault carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison. Troy uttered one last sentence. Try to keep your sentences short. an eight-year sentence for burglary ex-felons who have completed their sentences the mandatory minimum sentence the opening sentence of the novel She was given a life sentence. The judge passed sentence. The prisoner has served his sentence and will be released tomorrow. a death sentence a jail/​prison sentence to be under sentence of death
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sentence