Denotation vs. Connotation


[sen-tree] /ˈsɛn tri/
noun, plural sentries.
a soldier stationed at a place to stand guard and prevent the passage of unauthorized persons, watch for fires, etc., especially a sentinel stationed at a pass, gate, opening in a defense work, or the like.
a member of a guard or watch.
Origin of sentry
1605-15; short for sentrinel, variant of sentinel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sentries
Historical Examples
  • But for Steve Jack would have blundered into one of the Indian sentries.

    Indian and Scout F. S. Brereton
  • Only the long, slow moving line of the figures of sentries was to be seen.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Then the sentries quickly gave the word, the drums beat the alarm, and the camp of fourteen thousand men was roused in an instant.

    The Rock of the Lion Molly Elliot Seawell
  • Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • He was stopped and challenged frequently, but having the countersign, had no difficulty in passing the sentries.

  • True, the accident had occurred at dawn, when every one but the sentries was asleep.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • In case of any violence or resistance, the turnkey called in the assistance of the sentries or a squad from the barracks.

  • The sergeant of the guard, probably all of the other sentries are dead.

    The Whispering Spheres Russell Robert Winterbotham
  • "The rich Gnuffe Pezoro," it was thought, had paid the cost of the sentries.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • We are to have sixty blue-jackets and five marines for sentries, and so on.

    At Aboukir and Acre George Alfred Henty
British Dictionary definitions for sentries


noun (pl) -tries
a soldier who guards or prevents unauthorized access to a place, keeps watch for danger, etc
the watch kept by a sentry
Word Origin
C17: perhaps shortened from obsolete centrinel, C16 variant of sentinel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sentries



1610s, originally "watchtower;" perhaps a shortened variant of sentinel, which had a variant form centrinel (1590s); or perhaps worn down from sanctuary, on notion of "shelter for a watchman." Meaning "military guard posted around a camp" is first attested 1630s. Sentry-box is from 1728.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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