punish Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Definition of “punish” - English Dictionary

"punish" in American English

See all translations

punishverb [T]

 us   /ˈpʌn·ɪʃ/
to ​causepeople who have done something ​wrong or ​committed a ​crime to ​suffer by making them do something they don’t ​want to do or ​sending them to ​prison: She was punished for being late to ​school.
adjective  us   /ˈpʌn·ɪ·ʃə·bəl/
Swimming in the Potomac is punishable by a ​fine.
noun [C/U]  us   /ˈpʌn·ɪʃ·mənt/
[C] Serving ​yourcommunity is ​seen as a punishment these ​days.
(Definition of punish from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"punish" in British English

See all translations

punishverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈpʌn.ɪʃ/

punish verb [T] (CRIME)

B1 to ​cause someone who has done something ​wrong or ​committed a ​crime to ​suffer, by ​hurting them, ​forcing them to ​paymoney, ​sending them to ​prison, etc.: Those ​responsible for these crimes must be ​brought to ​court and punished. He punished the ​class by giving them ​extrawork. The ​oilcompany was ​foundguilty on ten ​counts of ​pollution, and was punished with a $250 million ​fine.
See also
to punish anyone who ​commits a ​particularcrime: Drunken ​driving can be punished with a ​prisonsentence.
More examples

punish verb [T] (TREAT BADLY)

to use or ​treat something ​badly, ​violently, or without ​care: He really punishes that ​horse of his.
(Definition of punish from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “punish”
in Korean 벌주다, 처벌하다…
in Arabic يُعاقِب…
in Malaysian menghukum…
in French punir…
in Russian наказывать…
in Chinese (Traditional) 犯罪, 懲罰, 懲處(犯罪行為)…
in Italian punire…
in Turkish cezalandırmak, ceza vermek…
in Polish karać…
in Spanish castigar…
in Vietnamese trừng phạt, phạt…
in Portuguese punir…
in Thai ลงอาญา, ลงโทษ…
in German bestrafen…
in Catalan castigar…
in Japanese ~を罰する, こらしめる, ~に罰を与える…
in Chinese (Simplified) 犯罪, 惩罚, 惩处(犯罪行为)…
in Indonesian menghukum…
What is the pronunciation of punish?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day


a large group of soldiers who form a part of an army, especially the ancient Roman army

Word of the Day

There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
by Kate Woodford,
November 25, 2015
In the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the word ‘synonym’ is defined as ‘a word or phrase that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language’. As you might expect, definitions for this word are broadly similar in other dictionaries and yet the italicized

Read More 

climatarian adjective
climatarian adjective
November 23, 2015
choosing to eat a diet that has minimal impact on the climate, i.e. one that excludes food transported a long way or meat whose production gives rise to CO2 emissions Climate change is not normally on people’s minds when they choose what to have for lunch, but a new diet is calling for

Read More