punitive damages

plural noun

: damages awarded in excess of compensation to the plaintiff to punish a defendant for a serious wrong

Examples of punitive damages in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Relli is suing for more than $25,000 in general damages, additional money to cover his medical bills and punitive damages of an unspecified amount in civil court. Danielle Bacher, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 The family is seeking unspecified punitive damages. Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News, 5 Sep. 2023 She was ordered to pay compensatory and punitive damages to Depp, per CNN. Women's Health Editors, Women's Health, 17 Aug. 2023 And the law does not allow for punitive damages, which are designed to punish a company for abuse or fraud by eating into its profits. T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, 7 Nov. 2023 Any punitive damages and attorney’s fees would also have to be paid, according to a draft version. Patrick Coffee, WSJ, 6 Nov. 2023 Dennis was awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 3 Nov. 2023 Makers of Roundup Weed Killer to Pay Up to $10.9 Billion to Settle Lawsuits After Cancer Claims A spokesperson for Bayer told Reuters that the verdict includes compensatory damages of $7 million and the other $325 million in punitive damages. Marisa Sullivan, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 The producers are asking for $80,000 in real damages in addition to punitive damages. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'punitive damages.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of punitive damages was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near punitive damages

Cite this Entry

“Punitive damages.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punitive%20damages. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition

punitive damages

see damage sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on punitive damages

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