from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To subject to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or official regulation. See Synonyms at punish.
  • transitive v. To impose a handicap on; place at a disadvantage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To subject to a penalty, especially for the infringement of a rule or regulation.
  • v. To impose a handicap on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make penal.
  • transitive v. To put a penalty on. See Penalty, 3.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay under a penalty, in ease of violation, falsification, or the like: said of regulations, statements, etc.; subject, expose, or render liable to a penalty: said of persons. Also spelled penalise.
  • To affix what amounts to a penalty to some act that is not in itself a penal offense; to subject to a disadvantage; handicap.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. impose a penalty on; inflict punishment on


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From penal +‎ -ize.


  • I will vote for him with or without her (yes i would like her on the ticket .... but will not "penalize" him if he does not pick her).

    Carter says unity ticket would be 'worst mistake'

  • Some might argue an off-peak plan could "penalize" riders who have no choice but to ride at peak hours, like those with a fixed work schedule.

    Alex Pasternack: Why New York Subway Chief's Congestion Pricing Idea Makes Cents

  • For all you Mc-haters out there, Denver may be passing provocative legislation that will financially "penalize" builders of mega-sized houses.

    McMansions to McPay Supersized McBucks

  • This administrator further indicated that 75-80 percent of students do take "3 years of math and science", but then indicated that it would "penalize" the remaining 25% to require them to do it.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • A lot of them, you know, John Travolta and Tommy Lee Jones -- you don't get the sense of, you know, wanting to kind of penalize an actor or a star whereas there's been a lot of bitterness about CEOs because the sense is that there's a public trust aspect to it.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2003

  • Note that progressives here are unthinkingly using the standard Republican framing of taxation issues -- a bicycle fee would "penalize" the "worthy" among us -- as well as fulminating in faux populist us vs. them terms.


  • A large number of allottees of DDA Housing Scheme 2008, who argue that they had applied through genuine papers, have appealed to the union urban development ministry and the agency not to "penalize" them for the acts of some persons who indulged in fraudulent activities.

    The Times of India

  • Is it fair to "penalize" parties that have their supposed "acts together" (ie, lots of rich backers) and can raise lots of money?

    Progressive Bloggers

  • It rewards those who simply exist and punishes those that produce, with all due respect to Mr. Obama's declaration that he doesn't want to "penalize" that Ohio plumber.

    Capitol Hill Coffee House

  • So, you know, when we talk about things like the love letters, it's a reminder to all of us that one approach for the D. A.'s office -- and we've seen it in the Scott Peterson matter for the last ten months -- is to leak all of the evidence they have and to get as many stories out there as they can to kind of penalize the defendant and help potential jurors to make up their minds ahead of time.

    CNN Transcript Nov 24, 2003


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • There are two ways to pronounce this word. Can you guess which one I hate more?

    January 27, 2007