Definition of penalize in US English:


(British penalise)


[with object]
  • 1Subject to some form of punishment.

    ‘you'll be penalized if you tap the account before age 59’
    • ‘We, the council tax-paying householders, are being penalised for the excess packaging created by manufacturers and retailers.’
    • ‘Action that is shutting factory production could see individual farmers, identified to the High Court, penalised by fines, if they refuse to move.’
    • ‘The council seems to be hell-bent on penalising the citizens of York, who are most affected by the scandalous parking charges imposed in the evening.’
    • ‘Our council tax payers are being penalised for the failures of other councils.’
    • ‘In addition to luring you with offers of free miles and free money, airlines have also taken the reverse approach and are trying to dissuade travelers from booking offline by penalizing the customers who do so.’
    • ‘Those who wished to leave the manor had to seek permission or be penalized by a fine.’
    • ‘He feared that all travellers could be penalised because of the actions of a few and he also feared that travellers would be penalised because of inaction of some departments of the City Council.’
    • ‘But she said there was no law to penalise councillors for failing to vote on an issue.’
    • ‘Starting July 1, locals who leave their bicycles about on the city's main streets will be penalized with a fine of five yuan.’
    • ‘Those which don't hit these targets may be penalised with severe fines.’
    • ‘It was nicknamed the ‘music fine’ because it penalised anyone who offered a broad education.’
    • ‘We are already penalised by car parking charges and an inability to benefit from citizen's privileges such as free entry days.’
    • ‘As a result householders are being penalised by ever increasing charges.’
    • ‘So penalising the captain again would amount to double punishment.’
    • ‘That these people should be potentially penalised for challenging a fine is quite simply a disgrace.’
    • ‘The owner of a York art gallery and shop claims parking charges are penalising the shoppers and tourists who bring wealth and prosperity to the city.’
    • ‘If you decide to pay off your loan early, many lenders will penalise you by charging you an extra two months' interest.’
    • ‘Violatiors will be penalised with fines of 20 000 to 120 000 leva.’
    • ‘You are liable to be penalised and fined by various authorities.’
    • ‘He has always denied any involvement in the attack and initially refused to pay a club fine when Leeds penalised him for his behaviour on the night.’
    punish, discipline, inflict a penalty on, exact a penalty from, deal with, mete out punishment to, sentence, impose a sentence on, chastise, castigate, correct, chasten
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    1. 1.1 (in various sports) punish (a player or team) for a breach of the rules by awarding an advantage to the opposition.
      • ‘Before, the kicking team was penalized if a player came within 2 yards of a returner before he caught the ball.’
      • ‘The truth is that some teams are penalized more than others.’
      • ‘Basketball is supposed to be a non-contact sport and referees penalise players that bump, barge and shove an opponent.’
      • ‘But they got it wrong when they voted to allow officials to penalize teams 15 yards for any on-field celebration deemed excessive.’
      • ‘In addition, the offending team is penalised 52 points.’
      • ‘However, penalized players must continue to finish the hand as if they did not renege.’
      • ‘Sometimes, it is evident that a referee has misjudged the position of players and unduly penalised one of the teams, but why does this happen?’
      • ‘The offending player is automatically penalized with one strike and no points for the round, and the round is declared void.’
      • ‘They would cheer when a goal was scored, boo when the umpires penalized their favorite player, and jump up and down in glee when they won the game.’
      • ‘These actions are tempting because they enable greater control, but they are illegal and a decent referee will be sure penalize the player in a game.’
      • ‘The ultimate aim is that it is going to penalise teams who do not play by the rules.’
      • ‘My advice for next year is to avoid leagues that penalize players for having too large a role in the offense.’
      • ‘If the ball strikes the flagstick, the player is penalized two strokes (loss of hole in match play) and the ball is played as it lies.’
      • ‘It's a bit like penalising a football team for the players' misbehaviour.’
      • ‘In some respects, teams are almost penalized for converting first downs in the two-minute drill because it just takes that much longer to get the next play off.’
      • ‘He's penalising players for all sorts of minor infractions and generally doing his best to ruin what started out as a promising game.’
      • ‘But if a team is penalized on the ensuing kickoff, maybe the players involved will think twice about hip-hopping in the end zone as if auditioning for a rock show.’
      • ‘By 1994, the league added a ‘taunting’ clause to its technical-foul rule to, in effect, penalize a player for non-verbal trash talking.’
      • ‘In union, video evidence can also be used to cite a player for misconduct, or for the committee to consider penalising a player after the game.’
      • ‘In fact, this is the fourth straight year players have been penalized for more false starts.’
      punish, discipline, inflict a penalty on, exact a penalty from, deal with, mete out punishment to, sentence, impose a sentence on, chastise, castigate, correct, chasten
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    2. 1.2 Put in an unfavorable position or at an unfair disadvantage.
      ‘if the bill is not amended, genuine claimants will be penalized’
      • ‘There will still be a lot of people penalised by the unfairness of the council tax.’
      • ‘The Body Mass Index, it now turns out, is a useless indicator of healthy weight, since it unfairly penalises women for their natural pear-shape.’
      • ‘All of them have the disadvantage of penalizing the investor for selling the fund, even years after purchase.’
      • ‘Physicians and hospitals fear the practice could unfairly penalize practitioners and say there's no way to benchmark quality accurately.’
      • ‘It is demeaning to be wholly dependent on others, and unfair that temporary disability is penalised.’
      • ‘But owners pleaded that they built ships to the standards applicable at the time of construction, and that their early demise would penalise them unfairly.’
      • ‘I believe it is unfair to penalise parents who miss the payment of this allowance due to this.’
      • ‘Others simply whined that though their site contained commercial material, it also contains valuable content and was unfairly penalized.’
      • ‘Although a child can be thrown out of a school if false information has been used, most councils said they would not consider this as it was unfair to penalise pupils for their parents' wrongdoing.’
      • ‘The fines have already caused a backlash among some residents who fear they will be unfairly penalised for leaving their rubbish out for collection.’
      • ‘Introducing the value of farmland into the assessment process would unfairly and severely penalize farm families, whose farmland land bears little relationship to its earning potential.’
      • ‘It says this unfairly penalises fans of big clubs, who are charged more.’
      • ‘He claims it's unfair that businesses should be penalised for the actions of irresponsible customers and members of the public and has called for the law to be changed.’
      • ‘The motor industry and opposition parties have described the 12% increase in motor tax as a devious measure which unfairly penalises drivers.’
      • ‘Some felt coursework penalised boys, especially those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.’
      • ‘This means that a privatised health care system would unfairly penalise women.’
      • ‘If no such notice in given, the claimant can be penalised in terms of costs.’
      • ‘Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent to avoid being unfairly penalized.’
      • ‘The institute added that the move could result in low workforce morale and high turnover rates if it led to genuinely sick employees believing they were being penalised unfairly.’
      • ‘Previous reports had shown the British haulage industry was unfairly penalised.’
      handicap, inflict a handicap on, unfairly disadvantage, put at an unfair disadvantage, put in an unfavourable position, cause to suffer, put a stumbling block in the way of, put a hindrance in the way of, put a impediment in the way of
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    3. 1.3Law Make or declare (an act or offense) legally punishable.
      ‘section twenty penalizes possession of a firearm when trespassing’
      • ‘This duty of a commanding officer has heretofore been recognized, and its breach penalized by our own military tribunals.’
      • ‘If there is a reason for treating the two categories of entrant differently it must be in order to penalise the trespasser's wrongdoing.’
      • ‘For instance, some courts have used this approach to subject laws penalizing same-sex relationships to a heightened scrutiny - such as a law prohibiting the issuance of a marriage license to two people of the same sex.’
      • ‘It discharges this function in many cases, but in many others it remains silent, merely enacting a provision which appears to penalize an act or an omission without any reference to fault.’
      • ‘The statutory objective is to penalise the unauthorised possession of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs.’
      prohibit, forbid, ban, outlaw, bar, veto, embargo, declare something a punishable offence, make something punishable, make illegal, disallow, proscribe, interdict
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