Grammar. a grammatical unit of one or more words that expresses an independent statement, question, request, command, exclamation, etc., and that typically has a subject as well as a predicate, as in John is here. or Is John here? In print or writing, a sentence typically begins with a capital letter and ends with appropriate punctuation; in speech it displays recognizable, communicative intonation patterns and is often marked by preceding and following pauses.
an authoritative decision; a judicial judgment or decree, especially the judicial determination of the punishment to be inflicted on a convicted criminal: Knowledgeable sources say that the judge will announce the sentence early next week.
the punishment itself; term: a three-year sentence.
to pronounce sentence upon; condemn to punishment: The judge sentenced her to six months in jail.
In everyday speech we routinely use phrases or clauses that would not make a complete sentence—so-called sentence fragments —because the conversation or the circumstances make the meaning clear. For example, we might answer a question like “Where did you go?” with “To the store,” or “Why can’t I stay out till midnight?” with “Because I say so,” or “What are you doing?” with “Trying to fix this toaster,” instead of “I went to the store,” “You can't stay out that late because I say so,” or “I am trying to fix this toaster.” In written dialogue sentence fragments are perfectly acceptable. They would generally be regarded as sentences simply because they begin with a capital letter and end with a suitable punctuation mark. But they are not sentences in a strict grammatical sense. And as a rule, sentence fragments are frowned upon in formal or expository writing. They can be useful—indeed, powerful—but in such writing they are effective only if used sparingly, in order to achieve a deliberate special effect: We will not give up fighting for this cause. Not now. Not ever.
- sen·tenc·er, noun
- pre·sen·tence, verb (used with object), pre·sen·tenced, pre·sen·tenc·ing.
- re·sen·tence, noun, verb (used with object), re·sen·tenced, re·sen·tenc·ing.
- un·sen·tenced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sentence in a sentence
There’s an unlimited number of possible things we can say, of sentence structures, but not anything can be a sentence structure.Talking Is Throwing Fictional Worlds at One Another - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Kevin Berger | September 9, 2020 | Nautilus
We have to come to terms with the fact that recognizing sentences written by humans is no longer a trivial task.Welcome to the Next Level of Bullshit - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Raphaël Millière | September 9, 2020 | Nautilus
You can even set how many sentences you want in your summary.Read, watch, and listen to things faster than ever before | David Nield | September 9, 2020 | Popular-Science
Simple enough, but you can glean much information from that sentence.
It does not help anyone to have communities where people feel like living there is a death sentence.Uncharted Power’s Jessica O. Matthews has a plan to revive America’s crumbling infrastructure | Brooke Henderson | August 23, 2020 | Fortune
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice turned herself in to serve a 15-month sentence for bankruptcy fraud.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’ | Michael Howard | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
That Huckabee is mentioned in the same sentence with other aspiring conservative governors, especially Bobby Jindal, is laughable.
Brown had been serving a life sentence; McCollum had been on Death Row.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities | Elizabeth Picciuto | December 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Had he been competently represented, the jury might well have failed to concur on a death sentence.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities | Elizabeth Picciuto | December 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
Each sentence came as if torn piecemeal from his unwilling tongue; short, jerky phrases, conceived in pain and delivered in agony.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
sentence of fine and imprisonment passed upon lord Bacon in the house of peers for bribery.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
John Wilkes released from the tower by the memorable sentence of chief justice Pratt.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology | Joel Munsell
It seeks the shortest phrase or sentence and adds successively all the modifiers, making no omissions.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
British Dictionary definitions for sentence
a sequence of words capable of standing alone to make an assertion, ask a question, or give a command, usually consisting of a subject and a predicate containing a finite verb
the judgment formally pronounced upon a person convicted in criminal proceedings, esp the decision as to what punishment is to be imposed
an opinion, judgment, or decision
music another word for period (def. 11)
any short passage of scripture employed in liturgical use: the funeral sentences
logic a well-formed expression, without variables
archaic a proverb, maxim, or aphorism
(tr) to pronounce sentence on (a convicted person) in a court of law: the judge sentenced the murderer to life imprisonment
- sentential (sɛnˈtɛnʃəl), adjective
- sententially, adverb
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