sentence - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 2
    legal a punishment given by a judge, usually involving a period of time that a person must spend in prison

    She received the maximum sentence of ten years.

    serve a sentence (=spend a period of time in prison):

    He is serving a three-year sentence for burglary.

    hand down/impose a sentence (=give a punishment):

    The judge imposed a harsher sentence than expected.

    pass/pronounce sentence (=say what it will be):

    There was silence as the judge pronounced sentence.

    commute a sentence (=change it to something less severe):

    Judge Miles QC commuted the sentence to three years.