What does penalty mean?

Definitions for penalty
ˈpɛn l tipenal·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word penalty.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. punishment, penalty, penalization, penalisationnoun

    the act of punishing

  2. penaltynoun

    a payment required for not fulfilling a contract

  3. penaltynoun

    the disadvantage or painful consequences of an action or condition

    "neglected his health and paid the penalty"

  4. penaltynoun

    (games) a handicap or disadvantage that is imposed on a competitor (or a team) for an infraction of the rules of the game


  1. penaltynoun

    A legal sentence.

    The penalty for his crime was to do hard labor.

  2. penaltynoun

    A punishment for violating rules of procedure.

  3. penaltynoun

    A payment forfeited for an early withdrawal from an account or an investment.

  4. penaltynoun

    A direct free kick from the penalty spot, taken after a defensive foul in the penalty box.

  5. penaltynoun

    A punishment for an infraction of the rules, often in the form of being removed from play for a specified amount of time.

    A penalty was called when he tripped up his opponent.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Penalty, Penalitynoun

    Etymology: from penalité, old French.

    Many of the ancients denied the Antipodes, and some unto the penality of contrary affirmations; but the experience of navigations, can now assert them beyond all dubitation. Brown.

    Political power is a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for preserving property, and employing the force of the community in the execution of laws. John Locke.

    Beneath her footstool, science groans in chains,
    And wit dreads exile, penalties and pains. Dunciad.

    Lend this money, not as to thy friend,
    But lend it rather to thine enemy,
    Who, if he break, thou may’st with better face
    Exact the penalty. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.


  1. penalty

    A penalty is a punishment imposed for violating a law, rule, or contract. It can also refer to an undesirable consequence or a disadvantage resulting from an action or situation. In sports, penalties refer to sanctions given by referees or umpires for violating game rules. In legal and financial contexts, penalties can take the form of fines, imprisonment, or other punitive measures.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Penaltynoun

    penal retribution; punishment for crime or offense; the suffering in person or property which is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime, offense, or trespass

  2. Penaltynoun

    the suffering, or the sum to be forfeited, to which a person subjects himself by covenant or agreement, in case of nonfulfillment of stipulations; forfeiture; fine

  3. Penaltynoun

    a handicap

  4. Etymology: [F. pnalit. See Penal.]


  1. Penalty

    A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for an infringement of the rules. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box for a set number of minutes, during which the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice, leaving them short handed as opposed to full strength. The opposing team is said to be on a power play, having one player more on the ice than the short-handed team. The short handed team is said to be "penalty killing" until the penalty expires and the penalized player returns to play. While standards vary somewhat between leagues, most leagues recognize several common degrees of penalty, as well as common infractions. The statistic used to track penalties was traditionally called "Penalty Infraction Minutes", although the alternate term "Penalties in Minutes" has become common in recent years.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Penalty

    pen′al-ti, n. punishment: suffering in person or property for wrong-doing or for breach of a law: a fine or loss which a person agrees to pay or bear in case of his non-fulfilment of some undertaking: a fine.—Under penalty of, so as to suffer, or (after a negative) without suffering the punishment of.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. penalty

    In a military sense, signifies forfeiture for non-performance, likewise punishment for embezzlement, etc.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penalty' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3643

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penalty' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3936

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penalty' in Nouns Frequency: #1159

Anagrams for penalty »

  1. aplenty

  2. netplay

How to pronounce penalty?

How to say penalty in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of penalty in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of penalty in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of penalty in a Sentence

  1. Johannes Thingnes Boe:

    We had three penalty loops and in a normal world cup, you never do that, if you have three penalty loops, you're outside of competition. This is what we expected before racing today so we knew that most likely the winners would have a penalty loop so we were not scared to have it here.

  2. Staff Janos Lazar:

    There is a debate about the introduction of the death penalty. A debate, so it is not like there is a plan to introduce the death penalty.

  3. H.L. Mencken:

    The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.

  4. Plato:

    The greatest penalty of evildoing - namely, to grow into the likeness of bad men.

  5. Happy Gilmore:

    Happy During high school, I played junior hockey and still hold two league records most time spent in the penalty box and I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab somebody.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for penalty

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"penalty." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/penalty>.

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