corporal punishment


: punishment that involves hitting someone : physical punishment
The school banned corporal punishment many years ago.

Examples of corporal punishment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet sadly, when one’s entire career is built on such an efficient way of offing another who is (or isn’t) guilty, and that disappears, other forms of corporal punishment don’t satisfy in the same way. David John Chávez, The Mercury News, 11 Apr. 2024 In many instances, corporal punishment is legal in Tennessee schools. Olivia Lloyd, Charlotte Observer, 22 Mar. 2024 Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have warned that corporal punishment creates emotional and behavioral issues. Kimanzi Constable, Parents, 1 Feb. 2024 India Kashmir banned corporal punishment in schools in response to the advocacy of mental health professionals and their reports of children requiring care after being punished at school. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Sep. 2023 Although Kashmir was not subject to certain Indian laws when the country prohibited corporal punishment in 2009, the new ban references India’s provisions for imprisonment and fines for perpetrators of corporal punishment in schools. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Sep. 2023 Across the country, media reports of corporal punishment also cite instances of severe physical injury and at least one fatality in December. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Sep. 2023 Many operated like military training camps where children were subject to abuse, neglect and corporal punishment. Nicole Chavez, CNN, 30 Aug. 2023 Indian law does not have a statutory definition of corporal punishment targeting children, however physical punishment and mental harassment are prohibited under the country’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'corporal punishment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Corporal punishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Legal Definition

corporal punishment

cor·​po·​ral punishment
: punishment inflicted on a person's body see also cruel and unusual punishment

Note: The prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution imposes limits on the use of corporal punishment on convicted offenders and prisoners. The U.S. Supreme Court has found the Eighth Amendment to be inapplicable to the use of corporal punishment on schoolchildren.

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