Definition of punish verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    punish

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they punish
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃ//
     
    he / she / it punishes
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃɪz//
     
    past simple punished
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃt//
     
    past participle punished
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃt//
     
    -ing form punishing
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌnɪʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌnɪʃɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to make somebody suffer because they have broken the law or done something wrong punish somebody Those responsible for this crime will be severely punished. My parents used to punish me by not letting me watch TV. punish somebody for something/for doing something He was punished for refusing to answer their questions. Wordfinderabide by something, court, crime, justice, law, legal, police, prosecute, punish, trial
  2. 2punish something (by/with something) to set the punishment for a particular crime In those days murder was always punished with the death penalty.
  3. 3punish yourself (for something) to blame yourself for something that has happened
  4. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French puniss-, lengthened stem of punir ‘punish’, from Latin punire, from poena ‘penalty’.Extra examples Damages are not designed to punish, but to compensate for the loss sustained. He was trying to punish her for deserting him all those years ago. Never punish children by making them go hungry. Offenders will be punished with a £1 000 fine. They will be severely punished for their crimes. Those found guilty will be punished accordingly. Those who had opposed the court were duly punished. He is guilty of contempt of court and is liable to be punished accordingly. I would not hesitate to condemn and punish unacceptable behaviour. The state is no longer effective in punishing crime.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: punish