Definition of punishment in English:

punishment

noun

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

    ‘crime demands just punishment’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of these decisions are applications of the requirement of proportionality of punishment to offence.’
    • ‘Usually, police can only arrest someone for an offence which carries a punishment of at least five years in jail.’
    • ‘Scandalising the court is a form of contempt that can lead to the imposition of punishment.’
    • ‘We bore harsh criticism for our efforts and some of us suffered severe punishment.’
    • ‘In the event of violation, both the producer and the retailer would be subject to severe punishment.’
    • ‘As a society we have grown to accept hasty judgement and instant, severe punishment as the desirable norm.’
    • ‘I know we are not supposed to go there and if we do, we can face severe punishment.’
    • ‘Obviously the crimes ear-marked for the extra tax are not of the magnitude which deserve severe punishment.’
    • ‘He was sentenced at Hull Crown Court to a 100-hour community punishment order for the offence.’
    • ‘Outraged society then demands punishment, for it is a point of principle that offenders must pay for their misdeeds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Severe punishment and bans may change the behaviour of a minority, but it will not change the attitude of the majority of bigots.’
    • ‘Condemnatory judgments, for example, may be accompanied by impulses of retribution and punishment.’
    • ‘Martin said this would bring the level of punishment in line with offences against police officers.’
    • ‘The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime.’
    • ‘As a common law offence, the punishment can carry anything up to a life sentence.’
    • ‘These are very serious and grave matters which call for severe punishment.’
    penalizing, punishing, disciplining
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    1. 1.1 A 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’
      • ‘Victims of crime in East Lancashire want harsher punishments handed out to criminals.’
      • ‘However at the end of the day, they are all physical punishments, some of which will deter some folks, and some others.’
      • ‘It assumes harsh punishments deter serious crime when there is much evidence to the contrary.’
      • ‘The punishments were given out a special hearing at Grays Magistrates' Court.’
      • ‘He ruled the expansive Persian Empire with an iron grip and was diabolically inventive with his punishments.’
      • ‘Some parents beat teachers for the physical punishments that their children suffered.’
      • ‘The father of a young boy killed by a banned motorcyclist has welcomed plans for tougher punishments for death crash drivers.’
      • ‘We need harsh punishments for children who attack people for just being told off even if it means bringing the birch back.’
      • ‘It is not for you to make judgements of guilt or hand out punishments.’
      • ‘Victorian books found in the school, detail teachers' wages and the punishments to students.’
      • ‘The length and frequency of the resulting punishments have drained the manager's resources.’
      • ‘It would be the greatest deterrent of all, as present punishments people feel are soft, and some like to challenge it.’
      • ‘The three most heard of capital punishments are beheading, hanging, and the lethal injection.’
      • ‘In the reviewed law, all capital punishments could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘I heard that in his stint as magistrate he was very good in dishing out punishments to suit the crime.’
      • ‘Others say they just want stiff punishments handed down and an early end to the trials so they can get on with their lives.’
      • ‘Now actually there's no mention at all in the report of punishments or penalties for those found guilty.’
      • ‘Few victims survived the extreme brutality and the severest punishments inflicted.’
      • ‘All the rules and tests and punishments against drug-taking are evidently not enough to stop people doing it.’
      • ‘All have to work in a laundry under the strict supervision of the nuns, who break their wills through sadistic punishments.’
      penalty, discipline, correction, retribution, penance, sentence, reward, one's just deserts, medicine, the price, the rap, requital, vengeance, justice, judgement, sanction
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    2. 1.2informal Rough treatment or handling.
      ‘your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to bits’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The subsequent punishment he took along the ropes caused him to nearly fall out of the ring.’
      • ‘An enormous lust for knowledge for its own sake, and a positive glutton for the punishment of hard work.’
      • ‘He took any amount of punishment and just got on with it after earning vital frees.’
      • ‘Tyres absorb severe punishment in the rough conditions and high temperatures.’
      • ‘When Hermann could take no more punishment, his legs buckled and he fell flat into the mud.’
      battering, thrashing, beating, thumping, pounding, pummelling, hammering, buffeting, drubbing
      maltreatment, mistreatment, ill treatment, abuse, ill use, rough handling, mishandling, manhandling
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

punishment

/ˈpʌnɪʃm(ə)nt/