Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “penal”

See all translations

penal

adjective uk   /ˈpiː.nəl/ us  

penal adjective (PUNISHMENT)

[before noun] of or connected with punishment given by law: Many people believe that execution has no place in the penal system of a civilized society. He had been in and out of penal institutions (= prison) from the age of 16.

penal adjective (CAUSING DISADVANTAGE)

UK having a harmful effect; causing disadvantage: They complained about the penal and counter-productive tax rates. Employees regarded the childcare charges as penal.
Translations of “penal”
in Spanish Penal, Severo…
in Chinese (Traditional) 懲罰的, 刑罰的, 懲誡(性)的…
in Russian уголовный, наказуемый…
in Turkish cezaî, ceza ile ilgili…
in Chinese (Simplified) 惩罚的, 刑罚的, 惩诫(性)的…
in Polish karny…
(Definition of penal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of penal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “penal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

lamb

a young sheep, or the flesh of a young sheep eaten as meat

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More