Definition of “punitive” - English Dictionary

“punitive” in British English

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punitiveadjective

uk /ˈpjuː.nɪ.tɪv/ us /ˈpjuː.nə.t̬ɪv/

(Definition of “punitive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“punitive” in American English

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punitiveadjective

us /ˈpju·nɪ·t̬ɪv/

intended as a punishment:

No punitive action was taken against Dawkins after he smashed the backboard during warmups.

(Definition of “punitive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“punitive” in Business English

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punitiveadjective

uk /ˈpjuːnətɪv/ us

used to describe costs that are so high they are difficult to pay, and that are often used to punish someone or limit their activities:

The President has threatened to impose punitive import duties on a range of foreign goods.

intended as a punishment:

punitive action/measures The company will not take punitive action against the striking workers.
The UN has imposed punitive sanctions on the invading country.
punitively
adverb /ˈpjuːnətɪvli/

People who are self-employed are often charged punitively high interest rates.

punitivenoun [ plural ]

uk /ˈpjuːnətɪv/ us US LAW
punitives

→  punitive damages

(Definition of “punitive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)