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’
    • ‘Scandalising the court is a form of contempt that can lead to the imposition of punishment.’
    • ‘Security software firms have welcomed the imposition of some punishment in the case.’
    • ‘The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime.’
    • ‘The new regional law has named severe punishment towards those who dare to chop or destroy the old trees.’
    • ‘These are very serious and grave matters which call for severe punishment.’
    • ‘Those who profit through spreading rumours should receive severe punishment.’
    • ‘As a society we have grown to accept hasty judgement and instant, severe punishment as the desirable norm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of these decisions are applications of the requirement of proportionality of punishment to offence.’
    • ‘Martin said this would bring the level of punishment in line with offences against police officers.’
    • ‘As a common law offence, the punishment can carry anything up to a life sentence.’
    • ‘However, the Court of Appeal refused to accept that this amounted to the imposition of punishment without trial.’
    • ‘He was sentenced at Hull Crown Court to a 100-hour community punishment order for the offence.’
    • ‘Severe punishment and bans may change the behaviour of a minority, but it will not change the attitude of the majority of bigots.’
    • ‘We bore harsh criticism for our efforts and some of us suffered severe punishment.’
    • ‘I know we are not supposed to go there and if we do, we can face severe punishment.’
    • ‘Usually, police can only arrest someone for an offence which carries a punishment of at least five years in jail.’
    • ‘Obviously the crimes ear-marked for the extra tax are not of the magnitude which deserve severe punishment.’
    • ‘In the event of violation, both the producer and the retailer would be subject to severe punishment.’
    penalizing, punishing, disciplining
    View synonyms
    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’
      • ‘The length and frequency of the resulting punishments have drained the manager's resources.’
      • ‘He ruled the expansive Persian Empire with an iron grip and was diabolically inventive with his punishments.’
      • ‘Others say they just want stiff punishments handed down and an early end to the trials so they can get on with their lives.’
      • ‘Victims of crime in East Lancashire want harsher punishments handed out to criminals.’
      • ‘Few victims survived the extreme brutality and the severest punishments inflicted.’
      • ‘It assumes harsh punishments deter serious crime when there is much evidence to the contrary.’
      • ‘All the rules and tests and punishments against drug-taking are evidently not enough to stop people doing it.’
      • ‘The three most heard of capital punishments are beheading, hanging, and the lethal injection.’
      • ‘However at the end of the day, they are all physical punishments, some of which will deter some folks, and some others.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We need harsh punishments for children who attack people for just being told off even if it means bringing the birch back.’
      • ‘Now actually there's no mention at all in the report of punishments or penalties for those found guilty.’
      • ‘It would be the greatest deterrent of all, as present punishments people feel are soft, and some like to challenge it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The punishments were given out a special hearing at Grays Magistrates' Court.’
      • ‘It is not for you to make judgements of guilt or hand out punishments.’
      penalty, discipline, correction, retribution, penance, sentence, reward, one's just deserts, medicine, the price, the rap, requital, vengeance, justice, judgement, sanction
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Rough treatment or handling.
      ‘your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to bits’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's also an animal that can absorb a tremendous amount of punishment before it dies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When Hermann could take no more punishment, his legs buckled and he fell flat into the mud.’
      • ‘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
      maltreatment, mistreatment, ill treatment, abuse, ill use, rough handling, mishandling, manhandling
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

punishment

/ˈpʌnɪʃm(ə)nt/