Examples of punitive in a Sentence
The federal government will take punitive action against the company that polluted the river.
Lobbyists complain that the bill would impose punitive taxes on the industry.
Recent Examples of punitive from the Web
The award, which included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages, was the largest sum yet in a series of baby powder verdicts against the Garden State pharmaceutical giant.
The jury awarded $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages, The Associated Press reported.
As relations have soured, Russia and the U.S. have engaged in punitive tit-for-tat measures involving their embassies.
The lawsuit seeks both compensatory payment and punitive damages, with the amount to be determined by a jury.
The new law, signed earlier this year by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, caps punitive damages in discrimination lawsuits and says only employers can be sued — not individual supervisors who may have engaged in the discriminatory behavior.
For the hapless still-not-yet-former attorney general, all this chaos may take some of the joy out of reviving unnecessarily punitive drug policies.
The group is asking for more than $75,000 in compensatory damages and more than $75,000 in punitive damages.
Second, damages should be compensatory, not punitive—a means of redress, not a way for powerful people to bankrupt their critics.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punitive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
punitive and the Law
Punitive is an important word in the law. When you sue a person or company for having wronged you in some way, you normally ask for something of value equal to what you were deprived of by the other party. But when the defendant has done something particularly bad, you may also ask for punitive damages, money over and above the actual cost of the harm done, intended to teach the defendant a lesson. Punitive damages are fairly rare, but when they're actually granted they may be as much as four times the size of the basic damages.
Origin and Etymology of punitive
First Known Use: 1593See Words from the same year
Synonymscastigating, chastening, chastising, correcting, correctional, corrective, disciplinary, disciplining, penal, penalizing
Related Wordsretaliative, retaliatory, retributive, retributory, revengeful; vengeful, wrathful
Near Antonymscompensatory; acquitting, exculpating, exculpatory, exonerating, vindicating; absolving, condoning, pardoning, remitting; commuting, reprieving
PUNITIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of punitive for English Language Learners
: intended to punish someone or something
: extremely or unfairly severe or high
legal Definition of punitive
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