Definition of under (or on) penalty of in US English:

under (or on) penalty of


  • Under the threat of.

    ‘he ordered enterprises to fulfill contracts under penalty of strict fines’
    • ‘Married women weren't even allowed to watch under penalty of death.’
    • ‘Voter registrants have to check a box and sign a form under penalty of perjury that they are a U.S. citizen, of voting age, and not an ex-felon.’
    • ‘There wasn't a soul in the room who would have considered such a move under penalty of death.’
    • ‘In the survey, college administrators were asked to state, under penalty of perjury, whether they enrolled high-school students in the classes legally.’
    • ‘If you're outside of Britain, just be thankful that you're not forced under penalty of law to finance this deeply troubled organisation's efforts to dodge reality.’
    • ‘It says, ‘I hereby declare under penalty of election falsification, that the statements above are true as I verily believe.’’
    • ‘Should employees then be required, under penalty of not getting any redundancy, to change from one culture of organisation to another, albeit on paper it is simply a name change?’
    • ‘What whistleblower would even dare contact a journalist if he or she knew that the journalist could be compelled under penalty of jail to reveal the whistleblower's name?’
    • ‘You mean the ones declared illegal by the republic under penalty of long painful death?’
    • ‘Women were not allowed to take part in the ancient Games, and married women were not even allowed as spectators, under penalty of death.’