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Related to punitive: punitive damages


Inflicting or aiming to inflict punishment; punishing.
pl.n. punitives
Punitive damages.

[Medieval Latin pūnītīvus, from Latin poenīre, pūnīre, to punish; see punish.]

pu′ni·tive·ly adv.
pu′ni·tive·ness n.


(ˈpjuːnɪtɪv) or less commonly


relating to, involving, or with the intention of inflicting punishment: a punitive expedition.
[C17: from Medieval Latin pūnītīvus concerning punishment, from Latin pūnīre to punish]
ˈpunitively adv
ˈpunitiveness n


(ˈpyu nɪ tɪv)

also pu•ni•to•ry

(-ˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i)

serving for, concerned with, or inflicting punishment.
[1615–25; < Medieval Latin pūnītīvus= Latin pūnīt(us) (past participle of pūnīre to punish) + -īvus -ive]
pu′ni•tive•ly, adv.
pu′ni•tive•ness, n.
penal, punitive - Penal means "relating to punishment," while punitive means "serving to punish."
See also related terms for punish.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.punitive - inflicting punishment; "punitive justice"; "punitive damages"
rehabilitative - designed to accomplish rehabilitation; "from a penal to a rehabilitative philosophy"- J.B.Costello; "rehabilitative treatment"


1. retaliatory, in retaliation, vindictive, in reprisal, revengeful, retaliative, punitory punitive measures against foreign companies
2. severe, high, harsh, stiff, drastic, stringent, austere, draconian, prohibitive, burdensome The Green party wants punitive taxes on petrol.


Inflicting or aiming to inflict punishment:


[ˈpjuːnɪtɪv] ADJpunitivo (Jur) [damages] → punitorio


[ˈpjuːnɪtɪv] adj [measure, action, sanctions] → punitif/ive
punitive measures → des mesures punitives
a punitive bombing raid → un bombardement de représailles punitive damagespunitive damages npl (LAW)dommages mpl punitifs, dommages-intérêts mpl punitifs


adjStraf-; sanctionsstrafend; strikevergeltend; (fig) taxation, fines etcextrem (hoch); punitive expeditionStrafexpedition f; punitive measuresStrafmaßnahmen pl; punitive sentenceStrafurteil nt; to take punitive action against somebodyeine Strafaktion gegen jdn führen


[ˈpjuːnɪtɪv] adj (action, measures) → punitivo/a


(ˈpaniʃ) verb
1. to cause to suffer for a crime or fault. He was punished for stealing the money.
2. to give punishment for. The teacher punishes disobedience.
ˈpunishable adjective
(of offences etc) able or likely to be punished by law. Driving without a licence is a punishable offence.
ˈpunishment noun
1. the act of punishing or process of being punished.
2. suffering, or a penalty, imposed for a crime, fault etc. He was sent to prison for two years as (a) punishment.
punitive (ˈpjuːnətiv) adjective
giving punishment.
References in classic literature ?
The job had been to make a punitive expedition to a neighbouring island, and, incidentally, to recover the heads of some mutual friends of ours--a white-trader, his white wife and children, and his white clerk.
Passion for power: the earthquake which breaketh and upbreaketh all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign beside premature answers.
Then she landed a punitive expedition to march to Peking.
Send your punitive expeditions, but first remember France.
He did not care to antagonize an English official, for the Queen's mighty arm wielded a punitive instrument which he could appreciate, and which he feared--England's far-reaching navy.
He had covered but a short distance from the forest when I beheld the first of his pursuers--a Sagoth, one of those grim and terrible gorilla-men who guard the mighty Mahars in their buried cities, faring forth from time to time upon slave-raiding or punitive expeditions against the human race of Pellucidar, of whom the dominant race of the inner world think as we think of the bison or the wild sheep of our own world.
He wondered if the women and children had remained in Mbonga's village after the punitive expedition from the French cruiser had massacred all the warriors in revenge for D'Arnot's supposed death.
Both were eligible for the militia, and both were drafted to serve in the punitive expedition that was despatched from California against the farmers of Missouri.
One part of the penal apparatus employed in that punitive institution, a woman's kitchen.
It had this unique feature, that both sides lay open to punitive attack.
Supreme Court Denies Injured Seaman's Bid for Punitive Damages
State lawmakers returned from their mid-session break last week to inconclusive debates on changing the state's laws on punitive damages.