Definition for SEN'TENCE

SEN'TENCE, n. [Fr.; It. sentenza; Sp. sentencia; from L. sententia, from sentio, to think.]

  1. In law, a judgment pronounced by a court or judge upon a criminal; a judicial decision publicly and officially declared in a criminal prosecution. In technical language, sentence is used only for the declaration of judgment against one convicted of a crime. In civil cases, the decision of a court is called a judgment. In criminal cases, sentence is a judgment pronounced; doom.
  2. In language not technical, a determination or decision given, particularly a decision that condemns, or an unfavorable determination. Let him set out some of Luther's works, that by them we may pass sentence upon his doctrines. – Atterbury.
  3. An opinion; judgment concerning a controverted point. – Acts xv.
  4. A maxim; an axiom; a short saying containing moral instruction. – Broome.
  5. Vindication of one's innocence. – Ps. xvii.
  6. In grammar, a period; a number of words containing complete sense or a sentiment, and followed by a full pause. Sentences are simple or compound. A simple sentence consists of one subject and one finite verb; as, “the Lord reigns.” A compound sentence contains two or more subjects and finite verbs, as in this verse: He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all. – Pope. A dark sentence, a saying not easily explained. – Dan. viii.

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