The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sentence \Sen"tence\, n. [F., from L. sententia, for sentientia,
from sentire to discern by the senses and the mind, to feel,
to think. See Sense, n., and cf. Sentiensi.]
1. Sense; meaning; significance. [Obs.]
Tales of best sentence and most solace. --Chaucer.
The discourse itself, voluble enough, and full of
(a) An opinion; a decision; a determination; a judgment,
especially one of an unfavorable nature.
My sentence is for open war. --Milton.
That by them [Luther's works] we may pass
sentence upon his doctrines. --Atterbury.
(b) A philosophical or theological opinion; a dogma; as,
Summary of the Sentences; Book of the Sentences.
3. (Law) In civil and admiralty law, the judgment of a court
pronounced in a cause; in criminal and ecclesiastical
courts, a judgment passed on a criminal by a court or
judge; condemnation pronounced by a judicial tribunal;
doom. In common law, the term is exclusively used to
denote the judgment in criminal cases.
Received the sentence of the law. --Shak.
4. A short saying, usually containing moral instruction; a
maxim; an axiom; a saw. --Broome.
5. (Gram.) A combination of words which is complete as
expressing a thought, and in writing is marked at the
close by a period, or full point. See Proposition, 4.
Note: Sentences are simple or compound. A simple sentence
consists of one subject and one finite verb; as, "The
Lord reigns." A compound sentence contains two or more
subjects and finite verbs, as in this verse:
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
Dark sentence, a saying not easily explained.
A king . . . understanding dark sentences. --Dan.