Definition of punitive in US English:

punitive

adjective

  • 1Inflicting or intended as punishment.

    ‘he called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc’
    • ‘Traffic rules must be strictly followed and punitive measures taken.’
    • ‘You'll get hit by punitive redemption fees if you cash in too early, and you'll pass up hefty loyalty and completion bonuses.’
    • ‘That discipline involves punitive measures, which may be either real or mentally exercised.’
    • ‘Removing punitive American policies would rob him of the one thing he needs most - a scapegoat.’
    • ‘The Supreme Court should investigate the case and take due punitive measure against the trainees in accordance with law.’
    • ‘I empathize with their authors, but I also know that punitive measures rarely work.’
    • ‘The cost of scrambling the police helicopter far outweighs any punitive fine imposed on any one of these offenders, were they to have been genuine.’
    • ‘It is a punitive measure imposed post-facto under anti-terrorism legislation.’
    • ‘The resolution threatened punitive economic and diplomatic measures if Khartoum didn't move quickly.’
    • ‘State law prohibits punitive verdicts from bankrupting companies.’
    • ‘You wonder whether the prohibitionists have any rational point at all The reasons behind punitive drug laws fail to stand up to any serious scrutiny.’
    • ‘There were no real punitive enforcement measures that could be stuck to in the agreement and Colina and Jimmy knew this.’
    • ‘It threatened punitive economic and diplomatic measures if Khartoum didn't move quickly.’
    • ‘No one wins in punitive relationships: parents and children alike feel frustrated, angry and unhappy.’
    • ‘The same type of punitive policy exists for those who are married or in a de-facto relationship, or who have a dependent child.’
    • ‘The punitive duty may be adjusted by a final ruling of the U.S. International Trade Commission slated for late July.’
    • ‘The most effective way to force a reduction of the violence on both sides is to take punitive economic measures.’
    • ‘The whole affair is a punitive measure which operates most unevenly.’
    • ‘Similarly punitive measures like charging fines from the public for flouting rules can be introduced.’
    • ‘Bear in mind that part of this policy is posited on the idea of it being said, that the detention is not punitive, that it is not designed as a deterrent.’
    penal, disciplinary, corrective, correctional, retributive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a tax or other charge) extremely high.
      ‘a current punitive interest rate of 31.3%’
      • ‘If the money is not paid to the Inland Revenue by the end of the financial year next month, the club could also find itself facing additional punitive charges.’
      • ‘The chances are you would be grateful to any institution that agreed to take your business - even if it charged punitive interest rates.’
      • ‘From April 2006 any savings above a £1.5m cap at retirement will be hit by a punitive tax charge.’
      • ‘Firstly, there is the punitive tax and fees that any purchase in Belgium imposes on the buyer.’
      • ‘The players were affordable and keen to escape their homeland's more punitive tax rates for higher earnings.’
      • ‘It charged the punitive rate of interest on the arrears as well as the repayments, causing the debt to balloon.’
      • ‘If the new bill is passed then punitive charges will be made for such applications.’
      • ‘If you go overdrawn without agreement on your bank account you get stung by penalty charges and punitive rates of interest.’
      • ‘This tax will clobber bright mobile young people, who can easily fly off to find work elsewhere where taxes are less punitive.’
      • ‘Thousands of Hindu temples and shrines were torn down and a punitive tax on Hindu subjects was re-imposed.’
      • ‘The ensuing national uproar led to punitive taxes on repatriated assets that took the fun out of that maneuver.’
      • ‘But if the imposition of a punitive tax serves to reduce demand for starter homes, the strategy may backfire.’
      • ‘Emslie considers it a punitive tax on companies in an increasingly competitive television era.’
      • ‘Although religious worship as such was not outlawed, punitive taxes were imposed on the churches and many were forced to close.’
      • ‘Modern smokers are clearly able to ignore punitive taxes and health warnings on packaging.’
      • ‘These policies are, in effect, a punitive tax on a superior, and badly needed, technology.’
      • ‘The civil service post was resigned and the family removed to the Isle of Man to avoid the punitive tax system of the time.’
      • ‘Rather than urge selective and punitive tax increases, Ms. Devine should be urging no taxes at all.’
      • ‘That's the thing that most put ants on my dink with this whole new wave of essentially punitive taxes, particularly with smokes.’
      • ‘Local demand could also suffer unless the government lifts punitive taxes on passenger cars.’
      harsh, severe, stiff, austere, cruel, savage, stringent, burdensome, demanding, draconian, drastic, swingeing, crushing, crippling
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: from French punitif, -ive or medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punit- ‘punished’, from the verb punire (see punish).

Pronunciation

punitive

/ˈpjunədɪv//ˈpyo͞onədiv/