pe·​nal·​ize | \ ˈpē-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce penalize (audio) , ˈpe- How to pronounce penalize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce penalization (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for penalize



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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 Asking about children is often a proxy for gender discrimination, as mothers are disproportionately penalized for their status as parents. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Pants or no pants? Tips for virtual job interviews from home," 1 May 2020 The Supreme Court rejected Friday pleas from liberal-leaning states and local governments to block a Trump administration policy that penalizes immigrants for seeking public benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "High Court Rejects Plea to Block Trump Immigration Rule During Pandemic," 25 Apr. 2020 College football players penalized for targeting and disqualified from games will be allowed to remain on the sideline following the calls rather than having to leave the field and go to the locker room. oregonlive, "College football rules changes: NCAA panel tweaks targeting penalty, sets replay time limits, allows players to wear No. 0," 21 Apr. 2020 Woods has had his account penalized multiple times for violating the platform's rules. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "James Woods: Joe Biden will pick Hillary Clinton as running mate so she can one day be president," 4 Mar. 2020 Kansas City was going to the Super Bowl -- except Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford had lined up offside and was penalized for a neutral-zone infraction that nullified the interception. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Chiefs tackle doesn’t blame Dee Ford for missed Super Bowl opportunity," 28 Jan. 2020 Oshie opened the scoring with his team-leading seventh goal, on a power play at 9:25 of the first and just eight seconds after Andrew Shaw was penalized for holding. Matt Carlson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wilson snaps tie with 3rd period goal, Caps edge Blackhawks," 20 Oct. 2019 Mendez ran for a yard on first down, but the Cobras were penalized for a false start before the next snap, moving the ball back to the Mustangs 44. Randy Mcroberts,, "Harford Tech scores 14, fourth quarter points; beats C. Milton Wright, 14-6," 5 Oct. 2019 The Lions, who were penalized 21 times for 150 yards, cut the lead to 12-6 with five minutes to play in the second quarter on a 17-yard quarterback keeper by Ryle Aguila. Steve Evans,, "Small, University School pop Champagnat," 21 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for penalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of penalize was in 1888

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Statistics for penalize

Last Updated

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Penalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for penalize


How to pronounce penalize (audio) How to pronounce penalize (audio)

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 How to pronounce penalize (audio) , ˈpe- \
penalized; penalizing

Kids Definition of penalize

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

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