Dictionary.com

penal

[ peen-l ]
/ ˈpin l /
Save This Word!

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.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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

1. penal , penological, punitive2. penal , penile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use penal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for 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
FEEDBACK