punishment

noun pun·ish·ment \ ˈpə-nish-mənt \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of punishment

1 : the act of punishing
2 a : suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution
b : a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure
3 : severe, rough, or disastrous treatment

Examples of punishment in a Sentence

  1. I took away my daughter's car keys as a punishment for her bad behavior.

  2. The punishments that the government has inflicted on the protesters are severe and unjust.

  3. The punishment for murder is life imprisonment.

  4. Some religions teach that wicked people will suffer eternal punishment in hell after they die.

Recent Examples of punishment from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punishment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of punishment

15th century



PUNISHMENT Defined for English Language Learners

punishment

noun

Definition of punishment for English Language Learners

  • : the act of punishing someone or a way of punishing someone

  • : the state of being punished

  • : rough physical treatment


PUNISHMENT Defined for Kids

punishment

noun pun·ish·ment \ ˈpə-nish-mənt \

Definition of punishment for Students

1 : the act of making a wrongdoer suffer : the state of being made to suffer for wrongdoing
2 : the penalty for a wrong or crime

Word Root of punishment

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.

Law Dictionary

punishment

noun pun·ish·ment

legal Definition of punishment

1 : the act of punishing
2 : a penalty (as a fine or imprisonment) inflicted on an offender through the judicial and especially criminal process — see also cruel and unusual punishment


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