1. A grammatical unit that is syntactically independent and has a subject that is expressed or, as in imperative sentences, understood and a predicate that contains at least one finite verb.
2. The penalty imposed by a law court or other authority upon someone found guilty of a crime or other offense.
3. Archaic A maxim.
4. Obsolete An opinion, especially one given formally after deliberation.
tr.v. sen·tenced, sen·tenc·ing, sen·tenc·es
To impose a sentence on (a criminal defendant found guilty, for example).
[Middle English, opinion, from Old French, from Latin sententia (perhaps dissimilated from *sentientia), from sentiēns, sentient-, present participle of sentīre, to feel; see sent- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.