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.

1605–15; short for sentrinel, variant of sentinel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sentry (ˈsɛntrɪ)
n , pl -tries
1.  a soldier who guards or prevents unauthorized access to a place, keeps watch for danger, etc
2.  the watch kept by a sentry
[C17: perhaps shortened from obsolete centrinel, C16 variant of sentinel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1611, originally "watchtower;" perhaps a shortened variant of sentinel (q.v.), which had a variant form centrinel (1598), or worn down from sanctuary, on notion of "shelter for a watchman." Meaning "military guard posted around a camp" is first attested 1632. Sentry-box is from 1728.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They take turns standing sentry over the town, barking to indicate whether danger looms or has subsided.
With such heavy demand for raiding, there aren't that many commandos free to perform sentry duty.
The only sign of human life is a sentry at the edge of town.
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