punishment

noun
pun·​ish·​ment | \ˈpə-nish-mənt \

Definition of punishment 

1 : the act of punishing

2a : suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution

b : a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure

3 : severe, rough, or disastrous treatment

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Colorado is one of more than a dozen states whose state constitution technically still allows involuntary servitude as a form of criminal punishment. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Colorado passes Amendment A, voting to officially abolish prison slavery," 7 Nov. 2018 These threats by Saudi Arabia’s monarchy in recent days were its answer to America’s own threats of punishment over the disappearance and reported killing and dismemberment of a dissident journalist that has shocked the world. Clifford Krauss, The Seattle Times, "Saudis issued warnings against U.S. sanctions. But how much leverage do they have?," 16 Oct. 2018 As a result, there’s massive public attention being paid to the outcome with those coming out against Cosby wondering if the court will give him a pass in terms of punishment given his fame. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Bill Cosby to be sentenced for sexual assault, could face 30 years in prison," 24 Sep. 2018 One type of punishment available to the NCAA was to vacate Louisville’s wins and records. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Should the NCAA Be Worried About the Lawsuit It's Facing From Former Louisville Players?," 12 July 2018 Buy Photo It’s been seven years since Pennsylvania’s General Assembly commissioned an analysis of capital punishment in the state — and for the last two, Gov. Wolf has placed a moratorium on executions, awaiting the outcome. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Pennsylvania's death penalty needs a radical rethinking, long-awaited report finds," 25 June 2018 Take another look, though; San Quentin remains very much a place of punishment – a correctional institution. CBS News, "Voices from inside San Quentin," 24 June 2018 Moreover, the certainty of harsh punishment for any student brought into the disciplinary system led teachers and administrators to keep favored students out of the system entirely. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "The truth about 'zero tolerance': It doesn't work and always leads to disaster," 22 June 2018 There are actually three levels of potential punishment for improper crossings. Dan Sweeney, Sun-Sentinel.com, "How family separation at the border works," 20 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of punishment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for punishment

The first known use of punishment was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for punishment

punishment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of punishment

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

: the state of being punished

: rough physical treatment

punishment

noun
pun·​ish·​ment | \ˈpə-nish-mənt \

Kids Definition of punishment

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

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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