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penalty

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noun pen·al·ty \ˈpe-nəl-tē\

Simple Definition of penalty

  • : punishment for breaking a rule or law

  • : a disadvantage or difficulty you experience

  • : a punishment or disadvantage given to a team or player for breaking a rule in a game

Full Definition of penalty

plural pen·al·ties

  1. 1 :  the suffering in person, rights, or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offense

  2. 2 :  the suffering or the sum to be forfeited to which a person agrees to be subjected in case of nonfulfillment of stipulations

  3. 3 a :  disadvantage, loss, or hardship due to some action b :  a disadvantage (as loss of yardage, time, or possession of the ball or an addition to or subtraction from the score) imposed on a team or competitor for violation of the rules of a sport

  4. 4 :  points scored in bridge by the side that defeats the opposing contract —usually used in plural

penalty adjective

Examples of penalty

  1. The company was given a severe penalty for the violation.

  2. They allowed him to pay back the money without a penalty.

  3. They allowed him to pay back the money without penalty.

  4. Lack of privacy is one of the penalties you pay for fame.

  5. The hockey player was given a penalty for holding.



Origin of penalty

Middle English penalte, from Middle French penalité, from Medieval Latin poenalitas, from Latin poenalis


First Known Use: 15th century




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