American English

Definition of punish verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they punish
    he / she / it punishes
    past simple punished
    -ing form punishing
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  1. 1to make someone 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.
  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
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: punish