self-pun·​ish·​ment ˌself-ˈpə-nish-mənt How to pronounce self-punishment (audio)
: the act of punishing oneself
Leaving early to train for an Ironman triathlon—a masterwork of self-punishment—is, however, deeply respected.Kyle Smith
Life was hard enough on me without adding the burden of additional self-punishment.Ann Finnie

Examples of self-punishment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Chung seeks a way to grieve without self-punishment, this open-hearted, unflinching account will be a boon to others. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-punishment.' 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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-punishment was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near self-punishment

Cite this Entry

“Self-punishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


self-pun·​ish·​ment -ˈpən-ish-mənt How to pronounce self-punishment (audio)
: punishment of oneself
masochistic self-punishment
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