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
  1. noun
    the disadvantage or painful consequences of an action or condition
    “neglected his health and paid the penalty
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    advantage, reward
    benefit resulting from some event or action
    type of:
    the quality of having an inferior or less favorable position
  2. noun
    (games) a handicap or disadvantage that is imposed on a competitor (or a team) for an infraction of the rules of the game
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    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
  3. noun
    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
  4. noun
    the act of punishing
    synonyms: 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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