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punitive

[ pyoo-ni-tiv ]
/ ˈpyu nɪ tɪv /
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Definition of punitive

adjective
serving for, concerned with, or inflicting punishment: punitive laws; punitive action.
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Also pu·ni·to·ry [pyoo-ni-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]. /ˈpyu nɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/.

Origin of punitive

1615–25; <Medieval Latin pūnītīvus of punishment, equivalent to Latin pūnīt(us) (past participle of pūnīre to punish) + -īvus-ive

OTHER WORDS FROM punitive

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH punitive

penal, penological, punitive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use punitive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for punitive

punitive

less commonly punitory (ˈpjuːnɪtərɪ, -trɪ)

/ (ˈpjuːnɪtɪv) /

adjective
relating to, involving, or with the intention of inflicting punishmenta punitive expedition

Derived forms of punitive

punitively, adverbpunitiveness, noun

Word Origin for punitive

C17: from Medieval Latin pūnītīvus concerning punishment, from Latin pūnīre to punish
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
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