Share this entry

a slap on the wrist

Definition of a slap on the wrist in English:

A mild reprimand or punishment: the few perpetrators prosecuted only got a slap on the wrist
More example sentences
  • Why do students think they can always break the law and be let off with just a reprimand or a slap on the wrist?
  • The reprimand is a slap on the wrist; nothing, no pain, nothing.
  • Hacking into computer networks was long seen as little more than a prank, and punishment was typically a slap on the wrist.
informaltelling-off, rap over the knuckles, dressing-down
British informalticking off, wigging
Australian/New Zealand informalserve
British vulgar slangbollocking
See parent entry: slap

Definition of a slap on the wrist in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources