Definition of punitive
: inflicting, involving, or aiming at punishment severe punitive measures
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 group is asking for more than $75,000 in compensatory damages and more than $75,000 in punitive damages.
The lawsuit, which as of Monday afternoon had not yet been assigned to a U.S. district judge, seeks back pay plus interest and unspecified punitive damages for the woman who lost her job.
The U.S. launched a punitive strike against the Syrian military days after the attack.
So the NBA included increasingly punitive luxury taxes to combat both the Heat themselves, and future imitations.
Hutchison said, while asking for DeLuca’s survivors to collect $46.3 million for the alleged fraud, plus more for punitive damages.
Sometimes punitive damages may be awarded as well as punishment for reckless or other harmful behavior.
The patient, Steven Hanes, 54, also was awarded $250,000 in punitive damages.
The U.S. Commerce Department made a preliminary ruling earlier on Monday that the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will be excluded from the punitive tariffs.
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
French punitif, from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of punire
First Known Use: 1593See Words from the same year
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
: inflicting, involving, or aiming at punishment
Seen and Heard
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