sentence Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sentence” in the English Dictionary

"sentence" in British English

See all translations

sentencenoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈsen.təns/
  • sentence noun [C] (WORD GROUP)

A1 a ​group of words, usually ​containing a ​verb, that ​expresses a ​thought in the ​form of a ​statement, ​question, ​instruction, or exclamation and ​starts with a ​capitalletter when written: He's very ​impatient and always ​interrupts me mid-sentence. Your ​conclusion is good, but the ​final sentence is too ​long and ​complicated.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • sentence noun [C] (PUNISHMENT)

B2 a ​punishment given by a ​judge in ​court to a ​person or ​organization after they have been ​foundguilty of doing something ​wrong: He got a heavy/​light sentence (= he was ​severely/not ​severelypunished). The ​offence carries a jail/​prison/​life/five-year sentence. He was given a non-custodial/​suspended sentence.pronounce sentence (of a ​judge) to say ​officially what a ​punishment will be: The ​judge will ​pronounce sentence on the ​defendant this ​afternoon.

sentenceverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈsen.təns/ specialized
B2 to ​decide and say ​officially what a ​punishment will be: He was sentenced tolifeimprisonment.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of sentence from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sentence" in American English

See all translations

sentencenoun [C]

 us   /ˈsen·təns/
  • sentence noun [C] (GRAMMAR)

grammar a ​group of words, usually ​containing a ​subject and a ​verb, ​expressing a ​statement, ​question, ​instruction, or ​exclamation, and, when written, ​starting with a ​capitalletter and ​ending with a ​period or other ​mark: Your sentences are too ​long and ​complicated.
  • sentence noun [C] (PUNISHMENT)

a ​punishment given by a ​lawcourt to a ​person or ​organization that is ​guilty of a ​crime: She ​served a three-year ​prison sentence.

sentenceverb [T]

 us   /ˈsent·əns/
to ​officiallystate the ​punishment given by a ​lawcourt to a ​guiltyperson or ​organization: He was sentenced to three ​years in ​jail and fined $40,000.
(Definition of sentence from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sentence?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

carnival

(a special occasion or period of) public enjoyment and entertainment involving wearing unusual clothes, dancing, and eating and drinking, usually held in the streets of a city

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More