penal Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Definition of “penal” - English Dictionary

"penal" in American English

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penaladjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈpi·nəl/
of or ​connected with ​punishment given by ​law: the penal ​system
(Definition of penal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"penal" in British English

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uk   us   /ˈpiː.nəl/

penal adjective (PUNISHMENT)

[before noun] of or ​relating to ​punishment given by ​law: Many ​peoplebelieve that ​execution has no ​place in the penal system of a ​civilizedsociety. He had been in and out of penal ​institutions (= ​prison) from the ​age of 16.

penal adjective (CAUSING DISADVANTAGE)

UK having a ​harmfuleffect; ​causingdisadvantage: They ​complained about the penal and counter-productive ​taxrates. Employees ​regarded the ​childcarecharges as penal.
(Definition of penal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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