- to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault: to punish a criminal.
- to inflict a penalty for (an offense, fault, etc.): to punish theft.
- to handle severely or roughly, as in a fight.
- to put to painful exertion, as a horse in racing.
- Informal. to make a heavy inroad on; deplete: to punish a quart of whiskey.
- to inflict punishment.
Origin of punish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for punisher
He was not only the rewarder of good but the punisher of evil.Greek Sculpture
Estelle M. Hurll
My faith in Aunt Deel as a corrector and punisher was very great.The Light in the Clearing
Besides which,—and this is true of all punishment—any sense of injustice destroys respect for the punisher.Tracks of a Rolling Stone
Henry J. Coke
He is manifestly the type of Justice, both punishing and rewarding; as punisher he has been transferred by Dante to the Inferno.Homer's Odyssey
Denton J. Snider
The Punisher of our unknown sins committed somewhere else or forgotten?The Inferno
- to force (someone) to undergo a penalty or sanction, such as imprisonment, fines, death, etc, for some crime or misdemeanour
- (tr) to inflict punishment for (some crime, etc)
- (tr) to use or treat harshly or roughly, esp as by overexertionto punish a horse
- (tr) informal to consume (some commodity) in large quantitiesto punish the bottle
Word Origin and History for punisher
mid-14c., agent noun from punish (v.).
c.1300, from Old French puniss-, extended present participle stem of punir "to punish," from Latin punire "punish, correct, chastise; take vengeance for; inflict a penalty on, cause pain for some offense," earlier poenire, from poena "penalty, punishment" (see penal). Colloquial meaning "to inflict heavy damage or loss" is first recorded 1801, originally in boxing. Related: Punished; punishing.