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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 periodicals archive ?
The de-escalation of punishment is possible mainly because the sentiment of punitiveness has undergone an important shift (11).' This book, then, is about the rise, failure, and fall of the Punishment Imperative.
The punitiveness of the state was assessed by using the number of executions per the population of the state.
(30) Indirectly, fear of returning to historic highs likely shaped the oft-lamented "punitiveness" of the American electorate.
(52) As one expert notes, "[t]he victim became increasingly pitted against the offender, and only long sentences appeared to validate her pain and suffering." (53) Within the dominant discourse, the victim occupied a very specific role that inexorably allied victims' rights with increased punitiveness. (54) Publicized crime victims were innocent by their very nature, and they suffered terribly in the aftermath of extreme violence.
2005) point to penal practices of warehousing and mass incarceration, as well as highly punitive popular sentiments, as indicative of the arrival of a "new punitiveness," a penal climate mainly characterized by austerity, efficiency, and accountability.
One of the functions of sentencing guidelines is to serve as a "circuit breaker," preventing bursts of punitiveness from affecting sentencing practices.
Moreover, regulators should responsively move both up and down the pyramid of available sanctions, increasing their punitiveness if necessary but also quickly responding to cooperation with de-escalation.
Among the three parenting style scales that were tested in the model (Nurture, Punitive, and Supervision) only the scales relating to supervision and punitiveness were significant (Supervision, p = .01; Punitiveness, p = .04).
Se evaluan las conductas reactivas y espontaneas que los entrenadores emiten en situacion de entrenamiento y competicion y, a partir de ellas, se definen perfiles de estilo de comunicacion teniendo en cuenta las dimensiones conductuales de apoyo, instrucciones y punicion --se utiliza apoyo, instrucciones y punicion como traduccion de las dimensiones conductuales suportiveness, instructiveness y punitiveness que no tienen equivalencia en espanol-- (Smith y Smoll, 1997a).
* Punitiveness. Many states' policies at least implicitly recognize the punitive nature of electronic monitoring; and
methods of sentencing and punitiveness has been in intellectual fashion.