One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A soldier stationed to keep guard or to control access to a place.
guard, sentinel, lookout, watch, watchman, patrol, picketView synonyms
- ‘After only a few steps she saw a sentry, standing not too far away, with his back to her.’
- ‘First, a sentry need no longer be a soldier standing at the entrance to a camp with a pike, or a rifle.’
- ‘In 1925, sentries patrolling this border fired on one another and a Greek soldier was killed.’
- ‘The complex sleeps at night, except for a handful of sentries and guards.’
- ‘There wasn't a single sentry, and the armies stood like an immense black sea about the castle.’
- ‘The enemy sentries and war machines were now aware of where he was.’
- ‘I should have noticed that there had been no one around the lit fire, or there were no sentries or patrols whatsoever.’
- ‘Outside of the villa, the sentries standing at the walls had seen the coming army.’
- ‘The sentries were on duty but no one came through the gate.’
- ‘Having seen no sentries or patrols of any kind, Maddock heaved the door to the tunnel open and they all headed in.’
- ‘Set up sentries and scouts to make sure all of the enemies are out of the area.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘A lone sentry now stands guard, posted by the Northern Alliance.’
- ‘You will reside in a secret place guarded by armed sentries.’
- ‘By acting as sentries, patrolling the countryside etc. they relieved the army to do other work.’
- ‘There should have been a sentry, a guard, or even a sign of some enclave or camp.’
- ‘He looked to the sentries guarding his tent and smiled a little wider.’
- ‘We passed another guard post, the sentries there expecting us.’
- ‘Rustling grass told him that a sentry was standing not five meters away.’
Keep guard or control access to a place.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Because of security woes, classes began two weeks late this year, with armed guards standing sentry at school gates.’
- ‘Relaxed Chinese guards armed with automatic rifles were standing sentry at the 217-meter-long bridge.’
- ‘The door closed in her face and I heard her feet shuffling as she moved to stand sentry by the door.’
- ‘We stand sentry, leaning against signs on the train station.’
- ‘They practised raising and lowering the flag, standing sentry and slow-marching into position and away again.’
- ‘We stand sentry there in blazing clear daylight.’
- ‘The number of security guards patrolling its eastern borders exceeds those standing sentry on the closely watched border between the US and Mexico.’
- ‘There is something both noble and heartbreaking about those embattled young soldiers standing sentry in what for them must be an incomprehensible place.’
- ‘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.’
Early 17th century: perhaps from obsolete centrinel, variant of sentinel.
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