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English definition of “penalty”

penalty

noun [C]
 
 
/ˈpenəlti/ (plural penalties)
FINANCE, LAW an amount of money that someone is forced to pay for failing to obey a rule, law, etc.: Taxpayers who do not send in their tax return by the deadline will pay a £100 penalty. exit/early-withdrawal/fixed penalty Savers who try to cash in their bonds in the first five years will usually face fixed penalty charges.impose/introduce a penalty Regulators prevented the broadband operator from imposing a penalty on customers defecting to other providers.without penalty Withdrawals can be made without penalty as long as 50 days' notice is given. face/incur a penalty financial/hefty/stiff penalties
LAW a punishment for failing to obey a rule or law: Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.abolish/oppose/seek the death penalty Several US states have considered bills that would abolish the death penalty.
→ See also surrender penalty
(Definition of penalty from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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