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 With this incredibly declarative opening scene, Gangs of London begins, unfurling over the ensuing hour into a sort of Game of Thrones by way of Eastern Promises saga of crime and punishment. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, "Gangs of London Premiere Recap: The Old Ultraviolence," 4 Apr. 2021 Serra forced Native Americans to stay at the missions after they were converted or face punishment. al, "Confederate symbols prove difficult to remove in many states," 3 Apr. 2021 The Oregon Youth Authority did not immediately say whether the teens — who are from the Salem and Albany areas — will face additional punishment. oregonlive, "3 teens arrested after escaping from correctional facility in Woodburn," 1 Apr. 2021 Defectors say average North Koreans caught consuming foreign content, especially from South Korea and the United States, often face severe punishment. Joshua Berlinger And Yoonjung Seo, CNN, "North Korea blasts K-pop industry as 'slave-like exploitation' amid crackdown on foreign media," 17 Mar. 2021 Black members of the military are also between 32% and 71% likelier to face punishment. Elizabeth Elkind, CBS News, "Military needs "honest reckoning" over racism in its ranks, Black Veterans Project co-founder says," 24 Feb. 2021 But that’s a canard of democratic accountability belied by the fact that corporations routinely break the law and face minimal punishment, especially in the U.S. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Facebook Just Successfully Bullied the Sovereign Nation of Australia," 23 Feb. 2021 But even if an attorney were to complain to the bar, which oversees lawyers, odds that a prosecutor would face punishment are slim. Jessica Priest, USA Today, "Moonlighting prosecutor sent Texas man to death row; 17 years later, he could get a new trial," 4 Feb. 2021 A day after protests swept across Russia in support of a jailed opposition leader, authorities said Monday that some participants face harsh punishment, including spells in the prison system once known as the gulag. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Severe punishment awaits protesters in Russia, Kremlin says," 1 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for punishment

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for punishment

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Punishment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punishment. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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