adjective pe·nal \ˈpē-nəl\

: relating to or used for punishment

: very severe

Full Definition of PENAL

:  of, relating to, or involving punishment, penalties, or punitive institutions
:  liable to punishment <a penal offense>
:  used as a place of confinement and punishment <a penal colony>
pe·nal·ly \-nəl-ē\ adverb

Examples of PENAL

  1. <Australia was once a penal colony.>

Origin of PENAL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin poenalis, from poena punishment — more at pain
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with PENAL


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