adjective \ˈpyü-nə-tiv\

: intended to punish someone or something

: extremely or unfairly severe or high

Full Definition of PUNITIVE

:  inflicting, involving, or aiming at punishment <severe punitive measures>
pu·ni·tive·ly adverb
pu·ni·tive·ness noun

Examples of PUNITIVE

  1. The federal government will take punitive action against the company that polluted the river.
  2. Lobbyists complain that the bill would impose punitive taxes on the industry.

Origin of PUNITIVE

French punitif, from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of punire
First Known Use: 1624

Rhymes with PUNITIVE


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