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English definition of “punitive”

punitive

adjective     /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.Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating 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.Costing too muchExpensive and luxurious punitively     /-li/ adverb Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating
(Definition of punitive adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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