Definition of penalty noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpenəlti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpenəlti//
    (pl. penalties) Types of punishment, Soccer, Economy
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  1. 1a punishment for breaking a law, rule or contract to impose a penalty Assault carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment. penalty (for something) The penalty for travelling without a ticket is £200. Contractors who fall behind schedule incur heavy financial penalties. a penalty clause in a contract You can withdraw money from the account at any time without penalty. Harsher penalties are being imposed for crimes involving firearms. see also death penalty See related entries: Types of punishment, Economy
  2. 2penalty (of something) a disadvantage suffered as a result of something One of the penalties of fame is loss of privacy.
  3. 3(in sports and games) a disadvantage given to a player or a team when they break a rule He incurred a ten-second penalty in the first round.
  4. 4(in football (soccer ) and some other similar sports) a chance to score a goal or point without any defending players, except the goalkeeper, trying to stop it; the goal or point that is given if it is successful. This chance is given because the other team has broken the rules. Two minutes later Ford equalized with a penalty. We were awarded a penalty after a late tackle. I volunteered to take the penalty (= be the person who tries to score the goal/point) He missed a penalty in the last minute of the game. See related entries: Soccer
  5. Word Originearly 16th cent.: probably via Anglo-Norman French, from medieval Latin poenalitas, based on poena ‘pain’.Extra examples From time to time, the death penalty was exacted for murder. He threatened stiffer penalties on young offenders. He was seeking financial penalties against the company. He’s now paying the penalty for his misspent youth. It’s just one of the penalties of fame. Owen scored from a first-half penalty. Penalty points are given to drivers who speed. People who lose their jobs are suffering the penalties for longer periods. Ricketts netted his third penalty of the season to put his team ahead. Some lenders charge heavy penalties for early settlement. The Romans prohibited the teaching of the Torah on penalty of death. The application should be signed under penalty of perjury. The legislation sanctions harsh mandatory penalties for weapons possession. The penalty handed down was disproportionate to the crime committed. There are redemption penalties if you pay off the mortgage early. There is a fixed penalty fine of £50 for allowing your dog to foul public places. These crimes carried with them the ultimate penalty of execution. They made him promise, under penalty of death. They were leading until Cole gave away a penalty. They won, thanks to a late penalty from Fry. We were unlucky not to get a penalty. You must accept the penalty for your rash actions. You will be given a fixed penalty notice if you fail to renew insurance on time. a new system of fixed penalties for most traffic offences calls to restore the death penalty crimes which carry severe penalties the heavy financial penalties of leaving the scheme early the heavy financial penalties of paying off the loan early the movement for the abolition of the death penalty the penalty for murder Assault carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. They deserve to face severe penalties. You can withdraw money from the account at any time without penalty.Idioms
    pay the penalty (for something/for doing something), pay a/the price (for something/for doing something)
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    to suffer because of bad luck, a mistake or something you have done He looked terrible this morning. I think he's paying the penalty for all those late nights. They're now paying the price for past mistakes. She thinks that any inconvenience is a price worth paying for living in such a beautiful place.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: penalty