One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The state or condition of being penal. rare.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). From Middle French pénalité suffering, punishment and its etymon post-classical Latin penalitas, poenalitas punishment, penalty, sorrow, suffering from classical Latin poenālis + -tās. Compare Old Occitan penalitat, Catalan penalitat, Spanish penalidad, Italian penalità.
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