Definition of punishment in US English:

punishment

noun

  • 1The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.

    ‘crime demands just punishment’
    • ‘He was sentenced at Hull Crown Court to a 100-hour community punishment order for the offence.’
    • ‘As a society we have grown to accept hasty judgement and instant, severe punishment as the desirable norm.’
    • ‘Those who profit through spreading rumours should receive severe punishment.’
    • ‘However, the Court of Appeal refused to accept that this amounted to the imposition of punishment without trial.’
    • ‘Martin said this would bring the level of punishment in line with offences against police officers.’
    • ‘Obviously the crimes ear-marked for the extra tax are not of the magnitude which deserve severe punishment.’
    • ‘We bore harsh criticism for our efforts and some of us suffered severe punishment.’
    • ‘The punishment is so severe that it is a deterrent for the criminal to commit the crime.’
    • ‘Severe punishment and bans may change the behaviour of a minority, but it will not change the attitude of the majority of bigots.’
    • ‘These are very serious and grave matters which call for severe punishment.’
    • ‘The new regional law has named severe punishment towards those who dare to chop or destroy the old trees.’
    • ‘In the event of violation, both the producer and the retailer would be subject to severe punishment.’
    • ‘Some of these decisions are applications of the requirement of proportionality of punishment to offence.’
    • ‘Outraged society then demands punishment, for it is a point of principle that offenders must pay for their misdeeds.’
    • ‘Scandalising the court is a form of contempt that can lead to the imposition of punishment.’
    • ‘I know we are not supposed to go there and if we do, we can face severe punishment.’
    • ‘Security software firms have welcomed the imposition of some punishment in the case.’
    • ‘As a common law offence, the punishment can carry anything up to a life sentence.’
    • ‘Usually, police can only arrest someone for an offence which carries a punishment of at least five years in jail.’
    • ‘Condemnatory judgments, for example, may be accompanied by impulses of retribution and punishment.’
    penalizing, punishing, disciplining
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    1. 1.1 The penalty inflicted.
      ‘she assisted her husband to escape punishment for the crime’
      ‘he approved of stiff punishments for criminals’
      • ‘All the rules and tests and punishments against drug-taking are evidently not enough to stop people doing it.’
      • ‘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 three most heard of capital punishments are beheading, hanging, and the lethal injection.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Victims of crime in East Lancashire want harsher punishments handed out to criminals.’
      • ‘We need harsh punishments for children who attack people for just being told off even if it means bringing the birch back.’
      • ‘It assumes harsh punishments deter serious crime when there is much evidence to the contrary.’
      • ‘All have to work in a laundry under the strict supervision of the nuns, who break their wills through sadistic punishments.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is not for you to make judgements of guilt or hand out punishments.’
      • ‘The father of a young boy killed by a banned motorcyclist has welcomed plans for tougher punishments for death crash drivers.’
      • ‘However at the end of the day, they are all physical punishments, some of which will deter some folks, and some others.’
      • ‘In the reviewed law, all capital punishments could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 inflicted on or suffered by a person or thing.
      ‘your machine can take a fair amount of punishment before falling to pieces’
      • ‘Given the amount of punishment the body takes these days, it is incredible if a player goes just one season without missing a game.’
      • ‘He took any amount of punishment and just got on with it after earning vital frees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The subsequent punishment he took along the ropes caused him to nearly fall out of the ring.’
      • ‘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.’
      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

/ˈpənɪʃmənt//ˈpəniSHmənt/