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.
- pe·nal·i·ty [pi-nal-i-tee], /pɪˈnæl ɪ ti/, noun
- pe·nal·ly, adverb
- non·pe·nal, adjective
- un·pe·nal, adjective
- un·pe·nal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use penal in a sentence
Section 377 of Pakistan’s colonial-era penal code that criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual relations remains in place.Transgender activist fights for change in Pakistan | Michael K. Lavers | October 20, 2021 | Washington Blade
He was sent to a penal colony where he says he is subjected to “psychological violence,” including being forced to watch state TV eight hours a day.Here Are the Favorites To Win the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize | Eloise Barry | October 5, 2021 | Time
Responsibility for resolving the situation fell to Russell Oswald, the state penal chief who’d been in his position for less than a year.Journalists bungled coverage of the Attica uprising. 50 years later, the consequences remain. | Erik Wemple | September 30, 2021 | Washington Post
He has been transferred from one miserable penal facility to another where he is now on a regimen of “vitamin therapy.”Russia Is Murdering the Kremlin's Biggest Critic in Plain Sight. Who Will Save Alexei Navalny? | Michael Weiss | April 22, 2021 | Time
He said he sent documents to the penal service informing it of his whereabouts.Russian opposition leader Navalny ordered jailed, calls on supporters to keep pressure on Putin | Isabelle Khurshudyan, Robyn Dixon | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Krivov was sentenced to serve four years at a general regime penal colony for his fight for freedom and human rights.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015 | Movements.Org | December 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This sum, outlined in the penal code, is double for a male than it is for a female.
And in just one night, we committed at least two offenses under his newly implemented penal code.
Those whom the state considers dangerous are walked through show trials and banished into the notoriously harsh penal system.Gulnara Karimova’s Tweets Hint at Uzbek Power Struggle | Anonymous | November 22, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Who then could be tried as a war criminal under the 1871 penal code?
Since the examination of this harbour, a penal settlement has been formed, and a pilot appointed to conduct vessels in and out.
William's reign was marked by a long list of new penal laws directed against them.The English Church in the Eighteenth Century | Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton
The Corporation would virtuously disown him and leave him to face a ten-year rap in penal Colony.Insidekick | Jesse Franklin Bone
A terrible criminal case was the result, and the man was sentenced to penal servitude for life.Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete | Guy de Maupassant
The third penal Bill brought in and passed was said to have been specially recommended by the King himself.The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 | Egerton Ryerson
British Dictionary definitions for penal
of, relating to, constituting, or prescribing punishment
payable as a penalty: a penal sum
used or designated as a place of punishment: a penal institution
- penally, adverb
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