- a punishment imposed or incurred for a violation of law or rule.
- a loss, forfeiture, suffering, or the like, to which one subjects oneself by nonfulfillment of some obligation.
- something that is forfeited, as a sum of money.
- a disadvantage imposed upon one of the competitors or upon one side for infraction of the rules of a game, sport, etc.
- consequence or disadvantage attached to any action, condition, etc.
Origin of penalty
Related Wordsdiscipline, forfeiture, cost, fine, retribution, rap, handicap, forfeit, amercement, price, amends, mulct, fall, mortification, dues, disadvantage, damages
Examples from the Web for penalty
Last summer, Louisiana also banned non-legal adoption, with offenders facing a penalty of $5,000 and up to five years in prison.Judge: Rehoming Kids Is Trafficking
December 30, 2014
The penalty is only rarely imposed, as members often resign before they can be voted out of Congress.The Felon Who Wouldn’t Leave Congress
Ben Jacobs, David Freedlander
December 23, 2014
And as the Israeli NGO Yesh Din has documented, that penalty is actually on the high end.Arabs Are the Michael Browns of Israel
December 3, 2014
Under the ACA, adults without minimal essential coverage will be charged a penalty when they file their tax return.
While that might just seem like a slap on the wrist compared to the cost of insurance, the penalty increases every year.
There is a penalty for keeping open, houses of entertainment.Sunday under Three Heads
Generally death was the least penalty that capture entailed.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
Such was the penalty for landing two buckets of Liverpool salt at Liverpool!Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Saunders became vehement, and paid the penalty of a paroxysm of coughing.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
I suppose it isn't half so much a crime--as it is a--penalty--for the crimes that bring it on.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
- a legal or official punishment, such as a term of imprisonment
- some other form of punishment, such as a fine or forfeit for not fulfilling a contract
- loss, suffering, or other unfortunate result of one's own action, error, etc
- sport games a handicap awarded against a player or team for illegal play, such as a free shot at goal by the opposing team, loss of points, etc
Word Origin and History for penalty
mid-15c., from Middle French penalité and directly from Medieval Latin poenalitatem (nominative poenalitas), from Latin poenalis (see penal). The sporting sense is first recorded 1885. Ice hockey penalty box attested by 1931.