Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “punitive”

See all translations

punitive

adjective
 
 
/ˈpjuːnətɪv/
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 /ˈpjuːnətɪvli/ adverb
(Definition of punitive adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of punitive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “punitive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More