- 1penalize somebody (for something) to punish someone for breaking a rule or law by making them suffer a disadvantage You will be penalized for poor spelling.
- 2 to punish someone for breaking a rule in a sport or game by giving an advantage to their opponent penalize somebody (for something) He was penalized for high-sticking. penalize something Foul play will be severely penalized.
- 3penalize somebody to put someone at a disadvantage by treating them unfairly The new law appears to penalize the poorest members of society. He felt penalized because of his age.
NAmE//ˈpinlˌaɪz//, NAmE//ˈpɛnlˌaɪz//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they penalize
he / she / it penalizes
past simple penalized
-ing form penalizing