A penalty is a punishment or consequence for doing something wrong, such as having to pay a fee for not bringing your library book back when it was due.

In hockey, players who break the rules have to sit in "the penalty box." Just like the penalty box punishes hockey players, all penalties are punishments for doing something wrong. Going to prison is the penalty for serious crimes. Detention is the penalty for misbehaving in school. Often, penalty applies to payments people have to make for breaking a financial contract of some kind.

Definitions of penalty

n the disadvantage or painful consequences of an action or condition

“neglected his health and paid the penalty
advantage, reward
benefit resulting from some event or action
Type of:
the quality of having an inferior or less favorable position

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

game misconduct
(ice hockey) a penalty that suspends a player for the remainder of a game (but allows the team to send in a substitute for the suspended player)
Type of:
advantage given to a competitor to equalize chances of winning

n a payment required for not fulfilling a contract

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requital, retribution
a justly deserved penalty
forfeit, forfeiture
a penalty for a fault or mistake that involves losing or giving up something
amercement, fine, mulct
money extracted as a penalty
library fine
fine imposed by a library on books that overdue when returned
Type of:
a sum of money paid or a claim discharged

n the act of punishing

penalisation, penalization, punishment, sanction
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castigation, chastisement
verbal punishment
corporal punishment
the infliction of physical injury on someone convicted of committing a crime
cruel and unusual punishment
punishment prohibited by the 8th amendment to the U.S. Constitution; includes torture or degradation or punishment too severe for the crime committed
a punishment in which a student must stay at school after others have gone home
correction, discipline
the act of punishing
economic strangulation
punishment of a group by cutting off commercial dealings with them
putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment
medicine, music
punishment for one's actions
punishment inflicted on yourself
threat of a penalty
penance, self-abasement, self-mortification
voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some wrongdoing
beating, drubbing, lacing, licking, thrashing, trouncing, whacking
the act of inflicting corporal punishment with repeated blows
self-punishment inflicted by whipping
the act of slapping on the buttocks
electric shock
the use of electricity to administer punishment or torture
capital punishment, death penalty, executing, execution
putting a condemned person to death
gantlet, gauntlet
a form of punishment in which a person is forced to run between two lines of men facing each other and armed with clubs or whips to beat the victim
kick in the butt
punishment inflicted by kicking the victim in the behind
lapidation, stoning
the act of pelting with stones; punishment inflicted by throwing stones at the victim (even unto death)
Type of:
social control
control exerted (actively or passively) by group action

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