Definition of punishment in English:

punishment

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence.

    ‘crime demands just punishment’
    • ‘These are very serious and grave matters which call for severe punishment.’
    • ‘We bore harsh criticism for our efforts and some of us suffered severe punishment.’
    • ‘Scandalising the court is a form of contempt that can lead to the imposition of punishment.’
    • ‘The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime.’
    • ‘Some of these decisions are applications of the requirement of proportionality of punishment to offence.’
    • ‘He was sentenced at Hull Crown Court to a 100-hour community punishment order for the offence.’
    • ‘Security software firms have welcomed the imposition of some punishment in the case.’
    • ‘However, the Court of Appeal refused to accept that this amounted to the imposition of punishment without trial.’
    • ‘In the event of violation, both the producer and the retailer would be subject to severe punishment.’
    • ‘Severe punishment and bans may change the behaviour of a minority, but it will not change the attitude of the majority of bigots.’
    • ‘I know we are not supposed to go there and if we do, we can face severe punishment.’
    • ‘As a society we have grown to accept hasty judgement and instant, severe punishment as the desirable norm.’
    • ‘As a common law offence, the punishment can carry anything up to a life sentence.’
    • ‘Obviously the crimes ear-marked for the extra tax are not of the magnitude which deserve severe punishment.’
    • ‘Martin said this would bring the level of punishment in line with offences against police officers.’
    • ‘The new regional law has named severe punishment towards those who dare to chop or destroy the old trees.’
    • ‘Those who profit through spreading rumours should receive severe punishment.’
    • ‘Usually, police can only arrest someone for an offence which carries a punishment of at least five years in jail.’
    • ‘Outraged society then demands punishment, for it is a point of principle that offenders must pay for their misdeeds.’
    • ‘Condemnatory judgments, for example, may be accompanied by impulses of retribution and punishment.’
    penalizing, punishing, disciplining
    View synonyms
    1. 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’
      • ‘Some parents beat teachers for the physical punishments that their children suffered.’
      • ‘All the rules and tests and punishments against drug-taking are evidently not enough to stop people doing it.’
      • ‘It is not for you to make judgements of guilt or hand out punishments.’
      • ‘We need harsh punishments for children who attack people for just being told off even if it means bringing the birch back.’
      • ‘It would be the greatest deterrent of all, as present punishments people feel are soft, and some like to challenge it.’
      • ‘Few victims survived the extreme brutality and the severest punishments inflicted.’
      • ‘The father of a young boy killed by a banned motorcyclist has welcomed plans for tougher punishments for death crash drivers.’
      • ‘He ruled the expansive Persian Empire with an iron grip and was diabolically inventive with his punishments.’
      • ‘However at the end of the day, they are all physical punishments, some of which will deter some folks, and some others.’
      • ‘Victims of crime in East Lancashire want harsher punishments handed out to criminals.’
      • ‘Now actually there's no mention at all in the report of punishments or penalties for those found guilty.’
      • ‘I heard that in his stint as magistrate he was very good in dishing out punishments to suit the crime.’
      • ‘In the reviewed law, all capital punishments could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘All have to work in a laundry under the strict supervision of the nuns, who break their wills through sadistic punishments.’
      • ‘Victorian books found in the school, detail teachers' wages and the punishments to students.’
      • ‘Others say they just want stiff punishments handed down and an early end to the trials so they can get on with their lives.’
      • ‘The punishments were given out a special hearing at Grays Magistrates' Court.’
      • ‘The length and frequency of the resulting punishments have drained the manager's resources.’
      • ‘The three most heard of capital punishments are beheading, hanging, and the lethal injection.’
      • ‘It assumes harsh punishments deter serious crime when there is much evidence to the contrary.’
    2. 1.2informal Rough treatment or handling.
      ‘your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to bits’
      • ‘The subsequent punishment he took along the ropes caused him to nearly fall out of the ring.’
      • ‘When Hermann could take no more punishment, his legs buckled and he fell flat into the mud.’
      • ‘It's also an animal that can absorb a tremendous amount of punishment before it dies.’
      • ‘He took any amount of punishment and just got on with it after earning vital frees.’
      • ‘Given the amount of punishment the body takes these days, it is incredible if a player goes just one season without missing a game.’
      • ‘An enormous lust for knowledge for its own sake, and a positive glutton for the punishment of hard work.’
      • ‘Tyres absorb severe punishment in the rough conditions and high temperatures.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

punishment

/ˈpʌnɪʃm(ə)nt/