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punitive

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adjective pu·ni·tive \ˈpyü-nə-tiv\

Simple Definition of punitive

  • : intended to punish someone or something

  • : extremely or unfairly severe or high

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of punitive

  1. :  inflicting, involving, or aiming at punishment <severe punitive measures>

punitively

adverb

punitiveness

noun

Examples of punitive in a sentence

  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.



Did You Know?

Punitive is an important word in the law. When you sue a person or company for having wronged you in some way, you normally ask for something of value equal to what you were deprived of by the other party. But when the defendant has done something particularly bad, you may also ask for punitive damages, money over and above the actual cost of the harm done, intended to teach the defendant a lesson. Punitive damages are fairly rare, but when they're actually granted they may be as much as four times the size of the basic damages.

Origin and Etymology of punitive

French punitif, from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of punire


First Known Use: 1624


Law Dictionary

punitive

play
adjective pu·ni·tive \ˈpyü-nə-tiv\

Legal Definition of punitive

  1. :  inflicting, involving, or aiming at punishment

punitively

adverb

punitiveness

noun




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