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1. Of, relating to, or prescribing punishment, as for breaking the law.
2. Subject to punishment; legally punishable: a penal offense.
3. Serving as or constituting a means or place of punishment: penal servitude; a penal colony.
[Middle English, from Old French peinal and from Medieval Latin pēnālis, both from Latin poenālis, from poena, penalty, from Greek poinē; see kwei- in Indo-European roots.]
1. (Law) of, relating to, constituting, or prescribing punishment
2. payable as a penalty: a penal sum.
3. (Law) used or designated as a place of punishment: a penal institution.
[C15: from Late Latin poenālis concerning punishment, from poena penalty]
1. of or pertaining to punishment, as for crimes or offenses.
2. prescribing punishment: penal laws.
3. used as a place of confinement and punishment: a penal colony.
4. subject to or incurring punishment: a penal offense.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin poenālis=poen(a) penalty (< Greek poinḗ fine) + -ālis -al1]
penal, punitive - Penal means "relating to punishment," while punitive means "serving to punish."
See also related terms for punish.
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|Adj.||1.||penal - of or relating to punishment; "penal reform"; "penal code"|
|2.||penal - serving as or designed to impose punishment; "penal servitude"|
|3.||penal - subject to punishment by law; "a penal offense"|
illegal - prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules; "an illegal chess move"