or poe·nol·o·gy



the study of the punishment of crime, in both its deterrent and its reformatory aspects.
the study of the management of prisons.

Origin of penology

1830–40; peno- (combining form representing Greek poinḗ penalty) + -logy
Related formspe·no·log·i·cal [peen-l-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌpin lˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, adjectivepe·nol·o·gist, noun
Can be confusedpenal penological punitive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for penology

Contemporary Examples of penology

Historical Examples of penology

  • I don't know much about penology, but that's the way I'd do it.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • This message from my pen is not a work on criminology or penology.

    After Prison - What?

    Maud Ballington Booth

  • The interesting possibilities of this Color Theory in penology and in the regulation of domestic affairs, did not escape Leighton.

    The Gilded Man

    Clifford Smyth

  • Are they specimens of “the criminal” we have had pictured to us in so many works on “Penology”?

    Within Prison Walls

    Thomas Mott Osborne

  • Penology has indeed engaged our attention, but criminology has been almost practically ignored by us.

British Dictionary definitions for penology



the branch of the social sciences concerned with the punishment of crime
the science of prison management
Also called: poenology
Derived Formspenological (ˌpiːnəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivepenologically, adverbpenologist, noun

Word Origin for penology

C19: from Greek poinē punishment
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

Word Origin and History for penology

"study of punishment and crime prevention," 1838, coined apparently by Francis Lieber, corresponding member of the Philadephia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, from pen- as in penitentiary (ultimately from Latin poena "penalty, punishment;" see penal) + -ology "study of." Related: Penologist; penological.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper