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pass sentence (on someone or something)
1. Literally, of a judge, to determine and read out a sentence following a criminal conviction. Before I pass sentence, I want to allow a victim-impact statement to be read aloud before the court. The judge passed a sentence of 35 years on the convicted murderer.
2. To make or render a judgment someone or something, especially hastily or preemptively. I know you usually don't like musicals, but don't pass sentence until you see this one for yourself. The president has been quick to pass sentence on those who speak out against her policies.
pass sentence on someone
1. Lit. [for a judge] to read out the sentence of punishment for a convicted criminal. It is my job as judge to pass sentence on you. The judge was about to pass sentence on Max—ten years in prison.
2. Fig. [for someone] to render a judgment on another person in the manner of a judge. You have no right to pass judgment on me! I wish you wouldn't pass judgment on everyone around you.
sentence someone to something (for something)
[for a judge] to order someone to suffer confinement, death, or labor for committing a crime. The judge sentenced Roger to three years in prison for the crime. The judge sentenced him to hard labor.
See also: sentence