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

Three Jokers get inked In a triple punishment, Joe gets to choose tattoos for Q, Murr, and Sal. Daniel Menegaz, EW.com, "The most hilarious moments from Impractical Jokers," 9 Aug. 2019 More such wiliness might have helped to crack the flat surface of this tale of crime and punishment. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Kitchen': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Although the Tigers took steps to self-sanction, the school is still expecting to receive a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, which could carry further punishment. Emily Caron, SI.com, "Report: Auburn Basketball Self-Imposed Severe Sanctions After FBI Investigation," 7 Aug. 2019 Swarts, Silva and D’Ambrosio initially received non-judicial, administrative punishment. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Navy drops charges against four SEALs charged with Afghanistan war crimes," 6 Aug. 2019 In contrast, hundreds of protesters have been arrested swiftly and many charged with rioting, which carries a much heavier punishment. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Armed thugs returned to the streets of Hong Kong to attack protesters," 5 Aug. 2019 Capital punishment is usually reserved for those who have committed multiple murders. Emiko Jozuka And Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN, "Murderers hanged in Japan's first executions of 2019," 2 Aug. 2019 Historians are skeptical that Bundy actually left the autograph himself — he was tried in a separate building that has since been razed — but just seeing the real-life memento of crime and punishment made Olson shiver. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "CFCArts’ ‘12 Angry Jurors’ puts the audience in the courtroom," 2 Aug. 2019 However, her punishment range could be upgraded to a maximum 10 years in prison if prosecutors ask the judge to classify the school bus as a deadly weapon. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Police: School bus driver accused of DWI had ‘several controlled substances’ in blood when arrested," 2 Aug. 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

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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