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sentinel Syllabification: sen·ti·nel
Pronunciation: /ˈsent(ə)nəl/

Definition of sentinel in English:


1A soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch.
Example sentences
  • Immediately, a sentinel standing guard near the jail confronted him.
  • Men who have merited this last distinction are to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do.
  • The sentinels who had stood watch throughout the night before watched those roadside dwellers with weary but alert eyes, should they suddenly decided to start a riot in front of the palace.
1.1 Medicine A thing that acts as an indicator of the presence of disease: [as modifier]: the first national HIV sentinel surveillance program in the developing world
More example sentences
  • We here present a model of field study, based on the use of sentinel species, that we are currently applying to risk assessment in the area around a focus of pollution.
  • The beetles' affinity for certain trees, like maples, poplars, willows, and elms, is significant because such attractive species may be used as sentinel trees.
  • Amphibians are regarded as sentinel vertebrates in the current drama of global extinctions.

verb (sentinels, sentineling, sentineled ; chiefly British sentinels, sentinelling, sentinelled)

[with object] Back to top  
Station a soldier or guard by (a place) to keep watch: a wide course had been roped off and sentineled with police figurative trees sentineled the trenches


Late 16th century: from French sentinelle, from Italian sentinella, of unknown origin.


stand sentinel

(Of a soldier) keep watch: soldiers stood sentinel with their muskets figurative a tall round tower standing sentinel over the river
More example sentences
  • The oil towers stand sentinel, bone-empty, in the dark.
  • Survivors of the old forest still stand sentinel among the rocks, which are cross-hatched, swirled, puckered, potholed, or sometimes as smooth as slickrock.
  • Several barriers in his consciousness that normally stand sentinel around his impressions of women become pliable and my image begins to migrate towards that of his mother.

Words that rhyme with sentinel

intestinal • Juvenal

Definition of sentinel in:

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