penal

[ peen-l ]
/ ˈpin l /

adjective

of, relating to, or involving punishment, as for crimes or offenses.
prescribing punishment: penal laws.
constituting punishment: He survived the years of penal hardship.
used as a place of confinement and punishment: a penal colony.
subject to or incurring punishment: a penal offense.
payable or forfeitable as a penalty: a penal sum.

QUIZZES

How Hip Is Your Lingo? Take Our Slang Quiz!
If you aren’t already skilled in slang, then this quiz can get you up to speed in no time!
Question 1 of 11
OK Boomer can be perceived as pejorative, but it is mostly considered to be _____

Origin of penal

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin poenālis, equivalent to poen(a) penalty (< Greek poinḗ fine) + -ālis -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM penal

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH penal

penal penological punitivepenal penile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for non-penal

penal
/ (ˈpiːnəl) /

adjective

of, relating to, constituting, or prescribing punishment
payable as a penaltya penal sum
used or designated as a place of punishmenta penal institution

Derived forms of penal

penally, adverb

Word Origin for penal

C15: from Late Latin poenālis concerning punishment, from poena penalty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012