punishment

noun
pun·​ish·​ment | \ ˈpə-nish-mənt How to pronounce punishment (audio) \

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

While the punishment was private, the impact was stark: The bank didn’t open a single branch from mid-2012 to March 2015, according to FDIC data. Michelle F. Davis, latimes.com, "Trump removed Wall Street’s secret shackles. Now banks are prowling for deals," 11 July 2019 To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail is punishment before due process. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Stars demand A$AP Rocky's release," 10 July 2019 But after a jury convicted Elkins of malice murder and other crimes, Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelly sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole, though the teen’s defense attorneys argued that punishment was too harsh. Washington Post, "Georgia Supreme Court orders review of slain baby case," 1 July 2019 The organization is appealing, saying the punishment is excessive and unprecedented at Miami. Keith Bierygolick, Cincinnati.com, "Miami University hazing case: 'Please do not say anything that would threaten the future of the fraternity'," 27 June 2019 But the punishment for Callaway and Vargas was a slap on the wrist—a $10,000 fine for each, and that’s it. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Mickey Callaway Should Have Been Fired for Reporter Confrontation," 25 June 2019 The punishment for alcohol possession underage is imprisonment up to 30 days, or a fine up to $100, or both. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's Daughter Paige, 19, Arrested for Public Intoxication," 20 June 2019 In an open letter to PEOPLE, Bathe says that corporal punishment was the norm growing up. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Why Ryan Michelle Bathe and Husband Sterling K. Brown Chose Not To Spank Their Kids," 20 June 2019 The league office will now look into the matter and gather facts before determining whether any punishment is appropriate. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots file tampering charges against Texans," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for punishment

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce punishment (audio) \

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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Comments on punishment

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