(1)   (criminal law) a final judgment of guilty in a criminal case and the punishment that is imposed
"The conviction came as no surprise"
(2)   A string of words satisfying the grammatical rules of a language
"He always spoke in grammatical sentences"
(3)   The period of time a prisoner is imprisoned
"He served a prison term of 15 months"
"His sentence was 5 to 10 years"
"He is doing time in the county jail"


(4)   Pronounce a sentence on (somebody) in a court of law
"He was condemned to ten years in prison"


< < < , for } < , ppr. of ; see sentient, sense, scent.


  1. A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop.
    The children were made to construct sentences consisting of nouns and verbs from the list on the chalkboard.
  2. The decision of a jury; a verdict.
    The jury returned a sentence of guilt in the first charge, but innocence in the second.
  3. An unfavorable sentence(2): a conviction.
    The prisoner was scheduled for execution as all appeals of his sentence had been denied.
  4. The punishment imposed on a person convicted of a crime.
    The judge declared a sentence of death by hanging for the infamous cattle rustler.
  5. Any of the set of strings that can be generated by a given formal grammar.
  6. A formula with no free variables.


  1. To declare a sentence on a convicted person.
    The judge sentenced the embezzler to ten years in prison, along with a hefty fine.