punitive damages

plural noun

Definition of punitive damages

: 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 The jury awarded Planned Parenthood punitive damages of $870,000. Fox News, "Jury awards Planned Parenthood nearly $1M over secret videos by pro-life group," 16 Nov. 2019 Jurors awarded Planned Parenthood more than $500,000 as compensation for the intrusions and $870,000 in punitive damages. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Planned Parenthood wins $2.2 million verdict against anti-abortion activists," 15 Nov. 2019 Instead of fining him that amount, as the attorney general's office wanted, the judge trimmed it to $2 million and rejected a demand for punitive damages and interest. chicagotribune.com, "President Donald Trump ordered to pay $2 million to settle suit alleging misuse of charitable foundation for personal gain," 7 Nov. 2019 Davitt sought punitive damages of $250,000 from Lee, the record says. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Records: Inmate filed sexual misconduct complaint against officer before fatal attack," 1 Nov. 2019 The suit seeks a trial by jury, at which time an amount will be decided for emotional injuries, nominal damages, property damage, punitive damages and attorney and court costs. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "LMPD officers held family at gunpoint in botched drug bust, lawsuit says," 30 Oct. 2019 The jury awarded Johnson’s estate $9 million in punitive damages. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Lee County jury awards $9M in wrongful death case of Auburn University student," 16 Oct. 2019 Lawyers specializing in aviation claims say Boeing could be facing historic punitive damages. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "Southwest pilots are suing Boeing for “misleading” them into flying the 737 Max," 8 Oct. 2019 In the original filing, Parlux sought the return of advances and royalties paid to Jay-Z (including 300,000 shares of stock in its parent company, Perfumania) and at least $18 million in punitive damages. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Jay-Z Must Face Filmed Deposition in Lawsuit Over Failed Fragrance, Despite Fears of a Leak," 2 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punitive damages.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of punitive damages

1858, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about punitive damages

Time Traveler for punitive damages

Time Traveler

The first known use of punitive damages was in 1858

See more words from the same year

Statistics for punitive damages

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Punitive damages.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punitive%20damages. Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for punitive damages

punitive damages

Legal Definition of punitive damages

see damage sense 2

Comments on punitive damages

What made you want to look up punitive damages? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!