Definition of punishment in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpʌnɪʃm(ə)nt/


[mass noun]
1The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence: 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, damnation
dated chastising, chastisement
1.1A penalty inflicted as retribution for an offence: she assisted her husband to escape punishment for the crime [count noun]: 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, discipline, correction, retribution, penance, sentence, reward, one's just deserts, medicine, the price, the rap, requital, vengeance, justice, judgement, sanction
informal comeuppance
British , Military  jankers
dated chastisement
1.2 informal Rough treatment or handling: your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to bits
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.
battering, thrashing, beating, thumping, pounding, pummelling, hammering, buffeting, drubbing
informal walloping, bashing, roughing up, hiding, belting
maltreatment, mistreatment, ill treatment, abuse, ill use, rough handling, mishandling, manhandling;
injury, damage, harm


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

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Line breaks: pun¦ish|ment

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