—n. 1. Gram.a grammatical unit of one or more words, bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it, often preceded and followed in speech by pauses, having one of a small number of characteristic intonation patterns, and typically expressing an independent statement, question, request, command, etc., as Summer is here. or Who is it? or Stop! 2. Law. a. an authoritative decision; a judicial judgment or decree, esp. the judicial determination of the punishment to be inflicted on a convicted criminal.
b. the punishment itself.
3. Music.a period.
4. Archaic.a saying, apothegm, or maxim.
5. Obs.an opinion given on a particular question.
—v.t. to pronounce sentence upon; condemn to punishment.