Definition of sentinel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɛntɪn(ə)l/


1A soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch: soldiers stood sentinel with their muskets
More 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.
2 Medicine An indicator of the presence of disease: [as modifier]: the first national HIV sentinel surveillance programme 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, sentinelling, sentinelled; US sentinels, sentineling, sentineled)

[with object]
Station a soldier or guard by (a place) to keep watch: a wide course had been roped off and sentinelled with police


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

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