pe·nal·ize | \ˈpē-nə-ˌlīz, ˈpe- \
penalized; penalizing

Definition of penalize 

transitive verb

1 : to inflict a penalty on

2 : to put at a serious disadvantage

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Other Words from penalize

penalization \ˈpē-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for penalize


castigate, chasten, chastise, correct, discipline, punish


excuse, pardon, spare

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Examples of penalize in a Sentence

The company was penalized for not paying taxes. The hockey player was penalized for holding. This law would unfairly penalize immigrants.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The governor plans to also sign House Bill 793, which would require colleges and universities to provide new students with education about the dangers of hazing and the laws that penalize it. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "John Bel Edwards signs bill to make hazing a felony act," 31 May 2018 While Wilson was not penalized during the game, the league's Department of Player Safety called for a hearing on Wednesday., "Digest: Capitals' Tom Wilson suspended three games for hit to head," 3 May 2018 Specifics of that rule and execution of penalizing it will also be discussed during this safety summit. Paul Dehner Jr.,, "Cincinnati Bengals' Darrin Simmons in NY fighting for life of kickoff at NFL summit," 1 May 2018 The National Women’s Law Center recently looked at school dress codes in Washington, D.C., and found that black girls are unnecessarily and predominantly penalized under uniform rules. Angela Helm, The Root, "Black Girls Most Harshly Disciplined Over School Dress Codes, Study Finds," 29 Apr. 2018 Apple, which hires companies in China to assemble the iPhone, might have been penalized by the U.S. but so far has avoided tariffs. Bloomberg,, "China's Xi can make life tough for U.S. companies, from Apple to Walmart," 20 June 2018 In his defense, Mr. Donovan explained that the legislation would have penalized cities like New York by taking money from its police force. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "One’s a Felon? Eh. G.O.P. Debate Focuses on Who’s Most Like Trump.," 11 June 2018 Four-timers club (1) — Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks (2010): Carroll and the Seahawks have been been penalized three times for improper contact during offseason workouts. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens' John Harbaugh is one of the NFL's longest-tenured coaches — and also one of its most penalized," 9 June 2018 An official review less than 24 hours later ruled that the Cubs should have been penalized for Rizzo’s sliding interference. Mark Gonzales,, "Despite winning interference appeal, Cubs want rules defined better," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'penalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of penalize

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for penalize

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for penalize

The first known use of penalize was in 1888

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More Definitions for penalize



English Language Learners Definition of penalize

: to punish (someone or something) for breaking a rule or a law

: to give (someone) an unfair disadvantage


pe·nal·ize | \ˈpē-nə-ˌlīz, ˈpe-\
penalized; penalizing

Kids Definition of penalize

: to give a penalty to You'll be penalized for cheating.

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Comments on penalize

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lying above or upon

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