- serving for, concerned with, or inflicting punishment: punitive laws; punitive action.
Also pu·ni·to·ry [pyoo-ni-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈpyu nɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/.
Origin of punitive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
less commonly punitory (ˈpjuːnɪtərɪ, -trɪ)
- relating to, involving, or with the intention of inflicting punishmenta punitive expedition
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
1620s, "inflicting or involving punishment," from French punitif (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of punire "to punish, correct, chastise" (see punish).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper