Definition of sentry in English:



  • A soldier stationed to keep guard or to control access to a place.

    ‘sentries patrolled the border’
    as modifier ‘on sentry duty’
    mass noun ‘two men stood sentry on the door every evening’
    • ‘We passed another guard post, the sentries there expecting us.’
    • ‘You will reside in a secret place guarded by armed sentries.’
    • ‘He looked to the sentries guarding his tent and smiled a little wider.’
    • ‘First, a sentry need no longer be a soldier standing at the entrance to a camp with a pike, or a rifle.’
    • ‘I should have noticed that there had been no one around the lit fire, or there were no sentries or patrols whatsoever.’
    • ‘Rustling grass told him that a sentry was standing not five meters away.’
    • ‘Yet, there appeared to be a crowd forming around the sentry on guard there.’
    • ‘We put one man on top of the Antelope House to act as a sentry as the others patrolled the grounds the next night.’
    • ‘There should have been a sentry, a guard, or even a sign of some enclave or camp.’
    • ‘By acting as sentries, patrolling the countryside etc. they relieved the army to do other work.’
    • ‘Set up sentries and scouts to make sure all of the enemies are out of the area.’
    • ‘There wasn't a single sentry, and the armies stood like an immense black sea about the castle.’
    • ‘The complex sleeps at night, except for a handful of sentries and guards.’
    • ‘The enemy sentries and war machines were now aware of where he was.’
    • ‘The sentries were on duty but no one came through the gate.’
    • ‘After only a few steps she saw a sentry, standing not too far away, with his back to her.’
    • ‘Outside of the villa, the sentries standing at the walls had seen the coming army.’
    • ‘A lone sentry now stands guard, posted by the Northern Alliance.’
    • ‘In 1925, sentries patrolling this border fired on one another and a Greek soldier was killed.’
    • ‘Having seen no sentries or patrols of any kind, Maddock heaved the door to the tunnel open and they all headed in.’
    guard, sentinel, lookout, watch, watchman, patrol, picket
    View synonyms


  • stand sentry

    • Keep guard or control access to a place.

      • ‘We stand sentry, leaning against signs on the train station.’
      • ‘The door closed in her face and I heard her feet shuffling as she moved to stand sentry by the door.’
      • ‘Relaxed Chinese guards armed with automatic rifles were standing sentry at the 217-meter-long bridge.’
      • ‘There is something both noble and heartbreaking about those embattled young soldiers standing sentry in what for them must be an incomprehensible place.’
      • ‘We stand sentry there in blazing clear daylight.’
      • ‘Because of security woes, classes began two weeks late this year, with armed guards standing sentry at school gates.’
      • ‘The number of security guards patrolling its eastern borders exceeds those standing sentry on the closely watched border between the US and Mexico.’
      • ‘At the front door they were met by a young looking officer, who like the poor man down the front dealing with the crowd, looked unhappy to be standing sentry by a front door instead of doing something more interesting inside.’
      • ‘They had been standing sentry in front of a stone door with a rope hanging down from the roof, obviously an alarm of some sort.’
      • ‘They practised raising and lowering the flag, standing sentry and slow-marching into position and away again.’


Early 17th century: perhaps from obsolete centrinel, variant of sentinel.