punish

verb
pun·​ish | \ ˈpə-nish How to pronounce punish (audio) \
punished; punishing; punishes

Definition of punish

transitive verb

1a : to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation
b : to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation
2a : to deal with roughly or harshly
b : to inflict injury on : hurt

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Other Words from punish

punishability \ ˌpə-​nish-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce punishability (audio) \ noun
punishable \ ˈpə-​nish-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce punishable (audio) \ adjective
punisher noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for punish

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for punish

punish, chastise, castigate, chasten, discipline, correct mean to inflict a penalty on in requital for wrongdoing. punish implies subjecting to a penalty for wrongdoing. punished for stealing chastise may apply to either the infliction of corporal punishment or to verbal censure or denunciation. chastised his son for neglecting his studies castigate usually implies a severe, typically public censure. an editorial castigating the entire city council chasten suggests any affliction or trial that leaves one humbled or subdued. chastened by a landslide election defeat discipline implies a punishing or chastening in order to bring under control. parents must discipline their children correct implies punishing aimed at reforming an offender. the function of prison is to correct the wrongdoer

punish and discipline mean to put a penalty on someone for doing wrong. punish means giving some kind of pain or suffering to the wrongdoer often rather than trying to reform the person. The criminals were punished with life imprisonment. discipline is used of punishing the wrongdoer but usually includes an effort to bring the person under control. Parents must discipline their children.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Since 2007 a punishing Israeli and Egyptian blockade has paralysed the economy; tens of thousands of young people have left, seeking work and a future elsewhere. The Economist, "The politics surrounding an assassination and its aftermath in Gaza," 13 Nov. 2019 The House approved a biting sanctions bill last month aimed at crippling Turkey's economy and punishing Erdogan personally by requiring an assessment of his net worth. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "'A particularly inappropriate time': Trump welcomes Turkey's Erdogan despite Syria attack," 13 Nov. 2019 Some students were worried the university would use the photos to identify and punish student protesters. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Northwestern University student paper apologizes for its protest coverage. Why?," 13 Nov. 2019 The thinking behind punishing a player who doesn’t get paid while working for others who do is beyond flawed. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's TML: Jury's still out on Ohio State football's Chase Young as we get more answers," 12 Nov. 2019 And while merging two competitors together can lower costs and free up money, stock investors have punished many firms trying to escape that route. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Drilling, dollars & debt: Colorado’s oil and gas industry is leveraged to the hilt. What does that mean for the future?," 10 Nov. 2019 They were felled by a local militia and U.S. troops, who brutally punished the fighters. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How two centuries of slave revolts shaped American history," 8 Nov. 2019 They were forced to carry out the punishing labor of planting and harvesting sugarcane and crushing and boiling it to make sugar and rum. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Caribbean excavation offers intimate look at the lives of enslaved Africans," 7 Nov. 2019 In a way of punishing Hellas Verona for abusing Balotelli, a Serie A tribunal handed out a one-match partial stadium closure to the club. Ben Morse And Alex Thomas, CNN, "Joao Mario calls for stronger racist abuse punishments," 6 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of punish

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for punish

Middle English punisshen, from Anglo-French puniss-, stem of punir, from Latin punire, from poena penalty — more at pain entry 1

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Statistics for punish

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for punish

The first known use of punish was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for punish

punish

verb
How to pronounce punish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of punish

: 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

verb
pun·​ish | \ ˈpə-nish How to pronounce punish (audio) \
punished; punishing

Kids Definition of punish

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.
pun·​ish | \ ˈpə-nish How to pronounce punish (audio) \

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

intransitive verb

: to inflict punishment

Other Words from punish

punishability \ ˌpə-​ni-​shə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce punishability (audio) \ noun
punishable \ ˈpə-​ni-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce punishable (audio) \ adjective
punisher noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on punish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for punish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with punish

Spanish Central: Translation of punish

Nglish: Translation of punish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of punish for Arabic Speakers

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