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.
Origin and Etymology of punish
Middle English punisshen, from Anglo-French puniss-, stem of punir, from Latin punire, from poena penalty — more at pain
First Known Use: 14th century
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
What made you want to look up punish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).