To punish is to discipline or penalize someone because they've done something wrong. If you stole the cookie from the cookie jar, someone may have to punish you. Not you? Then who?

A judge will often punish a guilty defendant with community service or parole — or sometimes even with time spent in prison, if the crime is serious enough. You probably punish your puppy for chewing your shoes simply with a firm "No!" Sometimes people are punished unfairly, like how higher gas prices punish the people who can already barely afford to drive to their jobs.

Definitions of punish
  1. verb
    impose a penalty on; inflict punishment on
    “we had to punish the dog for soiling the floor again”
    synonyms: penalise, penalize, sanction
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    avenge, retaliate, revenge
    take revenge for a perceived wrong
    smear the body of (someone) with tar and feathers; done in some societies as punishment
    execute, put to death
    kill as a means of socially sanctioned punishment
    punish by putting in a pillory
    inflict severe punishment on
    punish with an arbitrary penalty
    victimise, victimize
    punish unjustly
    punish severely; excoriate
    correct, discipline, sort out
    punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience
    get back, get even
    take revenge or even out a score
    kill by nailing onto a cross
    burn at the stake
    hang, string up
    kill by hanging
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