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Definition of "penal" []

  • Of, relating to, or prescribing punishment, as for breaking the law. (adjective)
  • Subject to punishment; legally punishable: a penal offense. (adjective)
  • Serving as or constituting a means or place of punishment: penal servitude; a penal colony. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "penal" in a sentence
  • "I have heard from someone knowledge in penal policy that prison rape is almost exclusively an American phenomenon."
  • "Immigration Judges may be required to conduct hearings in penal institutions and other remote locations."
  • "There's a wide array of things that people think are the very worst — murdering law enforcement officers, murdering in penal institutions, multiple murders, contract murders."