Definition of punish
punishabilityplay \ˌpə-nish-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
punishableplay \ˈpə-nish-ə-bəl\ adjective
Examples of punish in a Sentence
I think that murderers should be punished by life imprisonment.
She was punished for lying.
His parents punished him by taking away his allowance.
How should I punish my child's misbehavior?
State law punishes fraud with fines.
Recent Examples of punish from the Web
And since consumers prefer their platforms over others’, why punish success?
The deal does not address global concerns about Iran's non-nuclear activities, but also doesn't prevent the U.S. and others from punishing Iran for those activities.
So next time your parents punish all of the kids for something just one of you did, keep this in mind.
This is a carefully balanced film, neither unendingly punishing nor blithely ignorant of its stakes.
To further punish his daughter for her sin, Aaron Armstrong forced Faith to agree that the boys be split up when adopted as infants, the adoptive parents were not told their sons had a twin and Faith had no knowledge of their whereabouts.
Legislators filed several bills in 2016 and this year, to either change the flag or financially punish universities that refuse to fly it.
That may make the tweet a threat of some kind—that the White House will punish Amazon in international trade negotiations if WaPo keeps reporting on the president and his six-foot self-portraits funded with charity money.
A.D.’ came and started the game all over again, to punish the Pretty Little Liars for Charlotte’s death.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of punish
PUNISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of punish for English Language Learners
: to make (someone) suffer for a crime or for bad behavior
: to make someone suffer for (a crime or bad behavior)
: to treat (someone or something) severely or roughly
PUNISH Defined for Kids
Definition of punish for Students
1 : to make suffer for a fault or crime The child was punished for lying.
2 : to make someone suffer for (as a crime) The law punishes theft.
Word Root of punish
The Latin word poena, meaning “punishment,” gives us the root pen or pun. Words from the Latin poena have something to do with punishments. A penalty is a punishment for doing something wrong. Anything penal, such as a group of laws, explains punishments for specific crimes. Punish and punishment also come from poena.
Legal Definition of punish
1 : to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation
2 : to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation or as a deterrent
: to inflict punishment
punishability\ˌpə-ni-shə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ play noun
punishable\ˈpə-ni-shə-bəl\ play adjective
Seen and Heard
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