- causing or characterized by harsh or injurious treatment; severe; brutal: The storm was accompanied by punishing winds.
Origin of punishing
- 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 on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for punishing
The Feds are more interesting in finding out who is doing the recruiting rather than punishing those being recruited.What the U.S. Can Learn from Europe About Dealing with Terrorists
December 15, 2014
The king set about punishing Marshal, opposing his attempts to establish his family in their lands in Ireland and Wales.England’s Greatest Knight Puts ‘Game of Thrones’ to Shame
December 9, 2014
It seems the universe is punishing, violent, random, chaos, and so of course you become controlling.Michael Sheen’s Masterful Study of Sex and Insecurity
September 28, 2014
So punishing Putin, not the people of Russia, should be our primary aim.Best Way to Punish Putin? No World Cup
July 20, 2014
And his Socialist Party candidates predictably failed, a punishing defeat surprising only in its scope.French Vote Thrusts Two Women Into the Spotlight
March 31, 2014
I have lived a very nasty, horrible life, and now God is punishing me as I deserve.Father Sergius
Upon his return, the King was for punishing such an offence as this.The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete
Madame La Marquise De Montespan
But if the former were blameless, where is the justice of punishing them for the faults of others?The Electoral Votes of 1876
David Dudley Field
Then you are likely to give up your plan of punishing the man for defaming and degrading you?The Eternal City
The matter of discovering and punishing the culprit devolved on Lambert alone.The Duke Of Chimney Butte
G. W. Ogden
- 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 punishing
"hard-hitting," 1811, present participle adjective from punish (v.). Related: Punishingly.
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.