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
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.
Trump’s thoughts on the hacking seemingly changed after the release of the Washington Post’s investigation of the Obama administration’s struggle to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct assault on the U.S. presidential race.
While the ACA assesses a fine for each year people don’t buy insurance, the GOP plan would punish those who decide to purchase it after not being in the market.
How Faulconer’s budget cuts play into this Faulconer got a lot of attention for what critics said was a move to punish some council members for their vote to delete the $5 million allotment for the special election out of the budget.
Kentucky was added to the list after state legislators passed a bill preventing school officials from punishing students for wearing religious messages on their clothes and expressing religious or political beliefs in homework, artwork and speeches.
Grappling with the severity, and the sensitivity of the information, Obama’s White House engaged in months of debate, weighing how best to punish Russia and deter them from taking further action.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A state worker at the center of an attorney general's investigation says his bosses are punishing him for exposing waste and fraud in Kentucky's court system.
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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