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[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 sentry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The sentry at the gate, who had now come up, looked after them with a laugh.

    A Clerk of Oxford Evelyn Everett-Green
  • I said, "Were you not with the officer when he placed me on sentry last night?"

  • He was shut off from communication with his wife and family, isolated in a little hut standing by the roadside, his sentry box.

    Civilization Ellen Newbold La Motte
  • The door was open, and they were sentry, for their Guru was resting, they said.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • Go on snoring as you were, so that the sentry at your door may hear.

    The Young Castellan George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for sentry


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 sentry

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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