Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “penal”

penal

adjective [before noun] (PUNISHMENT)    /ˈpiː.nəl/
of or connected with punishment given by law: Many people believe that execution has no place in the penal system of a civilized society. He had been in and out of penal institutions (= prison) from the age of 16.Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating
(Definition of penal adjective (PUNISHMENT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of penal

Definitions of “penal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

limber up

to do gentle exercises to stretch the muscles in order to prepare the body for more active physical exercise

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More