Definition of punishment
1 : the act of punishing
2a : suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retributionb : a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure
3 : severe, rough, or disastrous treatment
Examples of punishment in a Sentence
I took away my daughter's car keys as a punishment for her bad behavior.
The punishments that the government has inflicted on the protesters are severe and unjust.
The punishment for murder is life imprisonment.
Some religions teach that wicked people will suffer eternal punishment in hell after they die.
Recent Examples of punishment from the Web
Without a panel to rule speedily on disputes, and protection against trade remedies, NAFTA’s smaller members will be more vulnerable to the punishment that the United States metes out to other trading partners (see chart).
The more immediate matter is whether to impose new sanctions on Russia as punishment.
But even when violations are reported, punishments can be mild.
Koro’s trainers used a mix of rewards (family visits) and brutal punishments (starvation, solitary confinement and beatings) to encourage compliance.
Despite his opposition to capital punishment, McAuliffe has allowed two executions to go forward.
Because defunding Planned Parenthood, enforcing hundreds of anti-abortion restrictions across the country in recent years, and enduring increasing harassment at clinics isn’t punishment enough.
Darker than Commander Putnam’s punishment in the operating room? 2a.
But Kinner appealed her punishment, claiming the judge did not adequately consider her childhood and Young's abusive nature.
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
PUNISHMENT Defined for English Language Learners
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
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.
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
Seen and Heard
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