noun pen·al·ty \ˈpe-nəl-tē\

: 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

plural pen·al·ties

Full Definition of PENALTY

:  the suffering in person, rights, or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offense
:  the suffering or the sum to be forfeited to which a person agrees to be subjected in case of nonfulfillment of stipulations
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
:  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


Next Word in the Dictionary: penalty areaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: penal theoryAll Words Near: penalty
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