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90s Slang You Should Know


[sen-tree] /ˈsɛn tri/
noun, plural sentries.
a soldier stationed at a place to stand guard and prevent the passage of unauthorized persons, watch for fires, etc., especially a sentinel stationed at a pass, gate, opening in a defense work, or the like.
a member of a guard or watch.
Origin of sentry
1605-15; short for sentrinel, variant of sentinel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sentries
Historical Examples
  • But for Steve Jack would have blundered into one of the Indian sentries.

    Indian and Scout F. S. Brereton
  • Then he posted his sentries and went into the Court House to get some breakfast.

    Lady Bountiful George A. Birmingham
  • Then the sentries quickly gave the word, the drums beat the alarm, and the camp of fourteen thousand men was roused in an instant.

    The Rock of the Lion Molly Elliot Seawell
  • Two men detached themselves and stood as sentries on the road.

    Lady Bountiful George A. Birmingham
  • He was stopped and challenged frequently, but having the countersign, had no difficulty in passing the sentries.

  • sentries had been placed to give notice of the approach of the enemy.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • In case of any violence or resistance, the turnkey called in the assistance of the sentries or a squad from the barracks.

  • I looked round to see that none of the sentries were taking aim at the man.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
  • "The rich Gnuffe Pezoro," it was thought, had paid the cost of the sentries.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • This holding up and searching gave the sentries all they wanted to do.

    A Soldier in the Philippines Needom N. Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for sentries


noun (pl) -tries
a soldier who guards or prevents unauthorized access to a place, keeps watch for danger, etc
the watch kept by a sentry
Word Origin
C17: perhaps shortened from obsolete centrinel, C16 variant of sentinel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sentries



1610s, originally "watchtower;" perhaps a shortened variant of sentinel, which had a variant form centrinel (1590s); or perhaps worn down from sanctuary, on notion of "shelter for a watchman." Meaning "military guard posted around a camp" is first attested 1630s. Sentry-box is from 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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