sentencesen‧tence1 /ˈsentəns/ ●●●S1W2 noun [countable]1SLGWORD, PHRASE, OR SENTENCEa group of words that usually contains a subject and a verb, and expresses a complete idea. Sentences written in English begin with a capitalletter and usually end with a fullstop or a questionmarkHis voice dropped at the end of the sentence.in a sentenceIt’s difficult to sum it up in one sentence.short/simple/full/complex etc sentenceIn a few short sentences, Quinn explained what he had done.2SCTPUNISHa punishment that a judge gives to someone who is guilty of a crimeShe received an eight-year prison sentence.He has just begun a life sentence for murder.► see thesaurus at punishmentCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: a punishment that a judge gives to someone who is guilty of a crimeverbsget/receive a sentence (also be given a sentence)She was given a three-year prison sentence.face a sentence (=be likely to receive a sentence)He faces a long prison sentence if he is caught.serve a sentence (=spend time in prison)Her husband is serving a two-year sentence for credit-card fraud.a crime carries a sentence (=that is the punishment for that crime)Rape should carry an automatic life sentence.impose/hand down a sentence (=officially give someone a sentence)The judge imposed a three-year sentence.pass sentence formal (=officially say what someone’s punishment will be)It is now my duty to pass sentence.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + sentencea stiff/long sentence (=a long time in prison)Police officers are demanding stiffer sentences for offenders.a light/short sentence (=a short time in prison)We’re hoping that he gets off with a light sentence.a prison/jail sentence (also a custodial sentence British English formal)If found guilty, he faces a long jail sentence.a non-custodial sentence British English formal (=a punishment in which a person does not go to prison)The judge said the offence was too serious for a non-custodial sentence.a five-year/eight-year etc sentence (=five/eight etc years in prison)He was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary.the maximum sentence (=the most that can be given for a particular crime)The maximum sentence for this offence is five years.a life sentence (=prison for the rest of your life, or a very long time)In 1978 he was given a life sentence for attacking a 72-year-old woman.a death sentence (=a punishment of death)Death sentences were handed down to eight of the accused.a suspended sentence (=one which someone will serve only if they commit another crime)Her attacker got a two-year suspended sentence.
sentencesentence2 ●●○ verb [transitive]SCTPUNISHif a judge sentences someone who is guilty of a crime, they give them a punishmentsentence somebody to somethingSanchez was sentenced to three years in prison.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
sentence• She returned anyhow, was sentenced but reprieved, and found herself expelled for the fourth time.• Brown will be sentenced for a series of sexualassaults.• The judge said that his was a very serious crime, and sentenced him to eight years in prison.• She is to be sentenced later.• The judge sentenced Margolis to a year in prison.• Green is free on bail until his sentencing on June 27, when he faces up to 25 years in prison.• But worse than that, the man was sentenced to death and was in custody!• 60 prisoners have been sentenced to death in politicaltrials.• He was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervisedrelease.• Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and sentenced to six years' imprisonment.• He was found guilty and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.• Some countries will sentence you to seven or more years in prison for drugoffences.sentence somebody to something• She was sentenced to three years in prison.Originsentence1(1200-1300)Old FrenchLatinsententia“feeling, opinion, sentence”, from sentire; → SENTIENT