Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that keeps guard; a sentry.
  • transitive v. To watch over as a guard.
  • transitive v. To provide with a guard.
  • transitive v. To post as a guard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sentry or guard.
  • n. a unique string of characters recognised by a computer program for processing in a special way; a keyword.
  • v. To watch over as a guard.
  • v. To post as guard.
  • v. To post a guard for.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who watches or guards; specifically (Mil.), a soldier set to guard an army, camp, or other place, from surprise, to observe the approach of danger, and give notice of it; a sentry.
  • n. Watch; guard.
  • n. A marine crab (Podophthalmus vigil) native of the Indian Ocean, remarkable for the great length of its eyestalks; -- called also sentinel crab.
  • transitive v. To watch over like a sentinel.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a sentinel; to place under the guard of a sentinel or sentinels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Watch or guard kept by a soldier stationed for the purpose at a particular place.
  • n. A soldier stationed as a guard, either to challenge persons drawing near and to allow to pass only those who give a watchword, and, in the absence of this, to resist them and give an alarm, or for display or ceremony only.
  • n. A sentinel-crab.
  • Acting as a sentinel; watching.
  • To watch over as a sentinel.
  • To furnish with a sentinel or sentinels; place under the guard of sentinels.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event

Etymologies

French sentinelle, from Italian sentinella, probably from Old Italian sentina, vigilance, from sentire, to watch, from Latin sentīre, to feel; see sent- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1570s, from Middle French sentinelle, from Italian sentinella (perhaps via a notion of "perceive, watch"), from sentīre ("to hear"), from Latin sentiō ("feel, perceive by the senses"). See sense. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Sworn to defend
    Condemned to hell
    Tempt not the blade
    All fear the Sentinel
    - Judas Priest

    May 15, 2007