[ puhn-ish-muh nt ]
/ ˈpʌn ɪʃ mənt /


the act of punishing.
the fact of being punished, as for an offense or fault.
a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc.
severe handling or treatment.

Nearby words

  1. punic wars,
  2. punish,
  3. punishable,
  4. punisher,
  5. punishing,
  6. punition,
  7. punitive,
  8. punitive damages,
  9. punitively,
  10. punitory

Origin of punishment

1250–1300; Middle English punysshement < Anglo-French punisement, Old French punissement. See punish, -ment

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-punishment

British Dictionary definitions for self-punishment



the act or an instance of punishing oneself


/ (ˈpʌnɪʃmənt) /


a penalty or sanction given for any crime or offence
the act of punishing or state of being punished
informal rough treatment
psychol any aversive stimulus administered to an organism as part of training
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 self-punishment



late 14c., from Anglo-French punisement (late 13c.), Old French punissement, from punir (see punish). Meaning "rough handling" is from 1811.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with self-punishment


see glutton for punishment.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.