Definition of punishment in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpəniSHmənt/


1The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense: crime demands just punishment
More example sentences
  • Martin said this would bring the level of punishment in line with offences against police officers.
  • Some of these decisions are applications of the requirement of proportionality of punishment to offence.
  • Scandalising the court is a form of contempt that can lead to the imposition of punishment.
penalizing, punishing, disciplining;
retribution, retributive justice
dated chastisement
1.1The penalty inflicted: she assisted her husband to escape punishment for the crime he approved of stiff punishments for criminals
More example sentences
  • Now actually there's no mention at all in the report of punishments or penalties for those found guilty.
  • Others say they just want stiff punishments handed down and an early end to the trials so they can get on with their lives.
  • Some parents beat teachers for the physical punishments that their children suffered.
penalty, penance, sanction, sentence, one's just deserts;
discipline, correction, vengeance, justice, judgment
informal comeuppance
1.2 informal Rough treatment or handling inflicted on or suffered by a person or thing: your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to pieces
More example sentences
  • He took any amount of punishment and just got on with it after earning vital frees.
  • It's also an animal that can absorb a tremendous amount of punishment before it dies.
  • Given the amount of punishment the body takes these days, it is incredible if a player goes just one season without missing a game.
maltreatment, mistreatment, abuse, ill-use, manhandling;
damage, harm


Late Middle English: from Old French punissement, from the verb punir (see punish).

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Syllabification: pun·ish·ment

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