Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "punishment" []

  • The act or an instance of punishing. (noun)
  • The condition of being punished. (noun)
  • A penalty imposed for wrongdoing: "The severity of the punishment must . . . be in keeping with the kind of obligation which has been violated” ( Simone Weil). (noun)
  • Rough handling; mistreatment: These old skis have taken a lot of punishment over the years. (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 "punishment" in a sentence
  • "Its tenor is, that a bill which proposed, as the punishment of an offence, to levy a certain pecuniary penalty, one half thereof to go to his Majesty and the other half to the informer, was altered in committee, in so far that, when it appeared in the form of an act, _the punishment_ was changed to whipping and imprisonment,"
  • "To say that the innocent can suffer under the administration of God, is to shock our sense of justice, and put out the light of the divine goodness; but it is all well if we only say that the punishment due to Adam’s sin is made, by the same good administration, to fall upon all his posterity _in the form of moral evil, and that then they are justly punished for this punishment_!"
  • ""If a supreme ruler, such as the Caliph for the time being, commit any offence punishable by law, such as whoredom, theft, or drunkenness, he is not subject to any punishment; but yet if he commit murder, he is subject to the law of retaliation, and he is also accountable in matters of property: because _punishment_ is a right of"