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English definition of “penalize”

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penalize

verb [T] uk ( UK usually penalise)   /ˈpiː.nə.laɪz/ us  

penalize verb [T] (CAUSE DISADVANTAGE)

to cause someone a disadvantage: The present tax system penalizes poor people. The system should ensure that borrowers are not penalized by sudden rises in mortgage rates.

penalize verb [T] (PUNISH)

to punish someone for breaking a rule: He was penalized early in the match for dangerous play.
(Definition of penalize from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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