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

  • adj. Inflicting or aiming to inflict punishment; punishing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. inflicting punishment, punishing

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to punishment; involving, awarding, or inflicting punishment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or involving punishment; awarding or inflicting punishment: as, punitive law or justice.

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

  • adj. inflicting punishment


Medieval Latin pūnītīvus, from Latin poenīre, pūnīre, to punish; see punish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Medieval Latin punitivus, from pūniō ("I punish"). (Wiktionary)



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