Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “punitive”

See all translations

punitive

adjective uk   /ˈpjuː.nɪ.tɪv/ us    /-t̬ɪv/
formal or specialized law intended as a punishment: punitive action The UN has imposed punitive sanctions on the invading country. She is suing the newspaper for $5 million punitive damages, claiming they knew the article about her was untrue. used to describe costs that are so high they are difficult to pay: The president has threatened to impose punitive import duties/tariffs on a range of foreign goods.
punitively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
(Definition of punitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of punitive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “punitive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

nation

a country, especially when thought of as a large group of people living in one area with their own government, language, traditions, etc.

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More