sentence

A sentence can be a group of words that communicate a complete thought, or it can be the punishment in a criminal case. Did your pen pal write a sentence or two about the length of his sentence?

Actually, both meanings of sentence — words and punishment — are linked, coming from the Latin sententia, meaning "thought or judgment," derived from the verb sentire, "to feel or perceive." If you put some words before a period, you should give some thought to your sentence. If you receive a lengthy prison sentence, you will certainly feel it.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: sentence

1
n
a string of words satisfying the grammatical rules of a language
2
nv
(criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed
pronounce a sentence on (somebody) in a court of law
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: sentence
1

n a string of words satisfying the grammatical rules of a language

“he always spoke in grammatical sentences
Types:
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simple sentence
a sentence having no coordinate clauses or subordinate clauses
complex sentence
a sentence composed of at least one main clause and one subordinate clause
compound sentence
a sentence composed of at least two coordinate independent clauses
declarative sentence, declaratory sentence
a sentence (in the indicative mood) that makes a declaration
run-on sentence
an ungrammatical sentence in which two or more independent clauses are conjoined without a conjunction
topic sentence
a sentence that states the topic of its paragraph
interrogation, interrogative, interrogative sentence, question
a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply
loose sentence
a complex sentence in which the main clause comes first and the subordinate clause follows
periodic sentence
a complex sentence in which the main clause comes last and is preceded by the subordinate clause
cross-question
a question asked in cross-examination
leading question
a question phrased in such a way as to suggest the desired answer; a lawyer may ask leading questions on cross-examination
yes-no question
a question that can be answered by yes or no
Type of:
linguistic string, string of words, word string
a linear sequence of words as spoken or written
2

n (criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed

Synonyms:
condemnation, conviction, judgment of conviction
Antonyms:
acquittal
a judgment of not guilty
Types:
murder conviction
conviction for murder
rape conviction
conviction for rape
robbery conviction
conviction for robbery
Type of:
final decision, final judgment
a judgment disposing of the case before the court; after the judgment (or an appeal from it) is rendered all that remains is to enforce the judgment

n the period of time a prisoner is imprisoned

“his sentence was 5 to 10 years”
Synonyms:
prison term, time
Types:
hard time
a term served in a maximum security prison
life, life sentence
a prison term lasting as long as the prisoner lives
Type of:
term
a limited period of time

v pronounce a sentence on (somebody) in a court of law

Synonyms:
condemn, doom
Types:
foredoom
doom beforehand
reprobate
abandon to eternal damnation
Type of:
declare
state emphatically and authoritatively
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