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Meaning of sentinel

sen•ti•nel

Pronunciation: (sen'tn-l), [key]
— n., v., -neled, -nel•ing -nelled, -nel•ling.
—n.
  1. a person or thing that watches or stands as if watching.
  2. a soldier stationed as a guard to challenge all comers and prevent a surprise attack: to stand sentinel.
  3. Also calleda symbol, mark, or other labeling device indicating the beginning or end of a unit of information.
—v.t.
  1. to watch over or guard as a sentinel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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