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Definition of "penalty" []

  • A punishment established by law or authority for a crime or offense. (noun)
  • Something, especially a sum of money, required as a forfeit for an offense. (noun)
  • The disadvantage or painful consequences resulting from an action or condition: neglected his health and paid the penalty. (noun)
  • Sports A punishment, handicap, or loss of advantage imposed on a team or competitor for infraction of a rule. (noun)
  • Sports An infraction of a rule; a foul. (noun)

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 "penalty" in a sentence
  • "The penalty for stealing _property_ was a mere _property penalty_."
  • "Mention the word penalty and most taxpayers cringe."
  • "If you keep an ounce on hand so you do not have to constantly be seeking the criminal element to make regular purchases the penalty is the same for up to 3 kilos, might as well keep a couple bricks and not have to make a purchase for a couple years."