- to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault: to punish a criminal.
- to inflict a penalty for (an offense, fault, etc.): to punish theft.
- to handle severely or roughly, as in a fight.
- to put to painful exertion, as a horse in racing.
- Informal. to make a heavy inroad on; deplete: to punish a quart of whiskey.
- to inflict punishment.
Origin of punish
SynonymsSee more synonyms for punish on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for punish
Instead, it appears that the Obama administration has opted to punish North Korea financially.U.S. Spies Say They Tracked ‘Sony Hackers’ For Years
January 2, 2015
And the law can easily be used as a political tool to punish any disrespect of the state.Disco Mullah Blasphemy Row Highlights Pakistan’s Hypocrisy
December 21, 2014
Did North Korea hack Sony to punish them for a Seth Rogen movie that taunts Kim Jong-un?Sony Hack: A Dictator Move?
December 14, 2014
Asked, if Christie is so terrible, why he would want to punish the people of the Garden State with his presence, Tancredo laughed.The ‘Stop Chris Christie’ Movement Begins. Good Luck With That.
November 8, 2014
And is it right for us to withhold assistance and punish civilians?U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS
October 20, 2014
I will not punish your fault so severely as Alcibiades ventured to hope.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He was seeking his opportunity to punish him for the rash utterance.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
But Wilson wanted to punish Ben, and was determined to do so.Biography of a Slave
If he had been guilty, what was that to the cruel world so ready to punish, so ready to do worse!Weighed and Wanting
It seems impossible for Shakespeare to believe that the sinner can punish sin.The Man Shakespeare
- to force (someone) to undergo a penalty or sanction, such as imprisonment, fines, death, etc, for some crime or misdemeanour
- (tr) to inflict punishment for (some crime, etc)
- (tr) to use or treat harshly or roughly, esp as by overexertionto punish a horse
- (tr) informal to consume (some commodity) in large quantitiesto punish the bottle
Word Origin and History for punish
c.1300, from Old French puniss-, extended present participle stem of punir "to punish," from Latin punire "punish, correct, chastise; take vengeance for; inflict a penalty on, cause pain for some offense," earlier poenire, from poena "penalty, punishment" (see penal). Colloquial meaning "to inflict heavy damage or loss" is first recorded 1801, originally in boxing. Related: Punished; punishing.