punitive definition, meaning - what is punitive in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “punitive”

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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   us   /-li/
(Definition of punitive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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