- 1Inflict a penalty or sanction on (someone) as retribution for an offence, especially a transgression of a legal or moral code: I have done wrong and I’m being punished for itMore example sentences
penalize, discipline, mete out punishment to, bring someone to book, teach someone a lesson, make an example of; tan/whip someone's hide• informal get, scalp, murder, wallop, thump, give it to someone, throw the book at, come down on (like a ton of bricks), have someone's guts for garters, skin aliveBritish • informal drop on, give someone what forNorth American • informal tear down• dated chastise• archaic chasten, recompense, visit
- This contravenes the movies' typical treatment of cads, who are usually punished for their moral transgressions or transformed into dullards by the power of love.
- Noir was the perfect response to the censors - the Code demanded that people be punished for their sins, and in film noir everyone pays.
- A minute later the visitors were punished for their miss when Lennon took a pass on the turn and rifled the ball into the right-hand corner to give Monksland the lead.
- 1.1Inflict a penalty or sanction on someone for (such an offence): fraudulent acts would be punished by up to two years in prisonMore example sentences
- The official failure to condemn or punish rape gives it an overt political sanction, which allows rape and other forms of torture and ill-treatment to become tools of military strategy.
- Then when Jed were penalised for a stamping offence, Stenhouse punished the misdemeanour with well-struck kick to put the Greens eight points ahead.
- He is talking, believe it or not, about an overdue, ponderous but worthy apparatus for punishing war crimes.
- 1.2 • informal Capitalize on (an opponent’s mistake), especially in sport: Australia punished Ireland’s handling blunders and scored three triesMore example sentences
- One lapse of concentration costs you dearly at this level and any mistakes are generally punished with a goal.
- Gomersal came back in the second half to punish mistakes and take the game 2-1.
- His miss handed Cougars a scrum in front of the posts - but they let him off the hook by not punishing his mistake with a score.
- 1.3Treat (someone) in an unfairly harsh way: a rise in prescription charges would punish the poorMore example sentences
- By going to this extreme you are unfairly punishing the individual in the pursuit of spiteful gossip.
- Patti Fritz argues that such a fee unfairly punishes elderly residents who put away savings for their retirement years.
- Dr Fundanga said all that was needed was a comprehensive framework for enforcement rather than on an ad hoc basis because this would end up punishing some members unfairly.
- 1.4Subject to severe and debilitating treatment.More example sentences
- It was hard to imagine how that merry prankster and mistress of worthy causes could be subject to such punishing mood swings.
- His length had improved and he was much more severe in punishing any loose shots played by Darwish.
- Seems perfectly reasonable to me that the Doctor's control of the energy would be more punishing and exhausting - even damaging - than Rose's.
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- Apparently, if you have been clicked at less than 15 kph over the limit and have not had a speed ticket or accident in the previous three years you can write to the speed camera punishers and plead for a caution instead of a fine.
- Manning used to say that Australian public life broke into two groups: the enlargers, and the punishers and straighteners.
- Cruel physical punishments degrade the punishers as well as the punished.
Middle English: from Old French puniss-, lengthened stem of punir 'punish', from Latin punire, from poena 'penalty'.