AskDefine | Define penalty

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of punishing [syn: punishment, penalization, penalisation]
2 a payment required for not fulfilling a contract
3 the disadvantage or painful consequences of an action or condition; "neglected his health and paid the penalty" [ant: advantage]
4 (games) a handicap or disadvantage that is imposed on a competitor (or a team) for an infraction of the rules of the game

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A legal sentence.
    The penalty for his crime was to do hard labor.
  2. A punishment for violating rules of procedure.
  3. A payment forfeited for an early withdrawal from an account or an investment.
  4. A direct free-kick from the penalty spot, taken after a defensive foul in the penalty box.
  5. A punishment for an infraction of the rules, often in the form of being removed from play for a specified amount of time.
    A penalty was called when he tripped up his opponent.


legal sentence
punishment for violating rules of procedure
free-kick in football
punishment in ice hockey

See also

Extensive Definition

A penalty is generally a punishment, and may refer to:
In law:
  • Penalty, a sentence (decree of punishment) issued by a court or judge
  • Penalty, sanctions imposed by a court or judge
In sports:
In arts and entertainment:
penalty in German: Penalty
penalty in Japanese: ペナルティ
penalty in Norwegian: Straff
penalty in Portuguese: Penalty
penalty in Simple English: Penalty

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abatement, acquittal, agio, allowance, amercement, bank discount, breakage, burden, burthen, cargo, cash discount, castigation, chain discount, charge, charge-off, chastening, chastisement, concession, condemnation, condign punishment, correction, cross, cumbrance, cut, deadweight, decision, deduction, depreciation, deserts, difficulty, disadvantage, disciplinary measures, discipline, discount, drawback, embarrassment, encumbrance, ferule, fine, forfeit, freight, hamper, handicap, impediment, impedimenta, imposition, imprisonment, incarceration, inconvenience, infliction, judgment, judicial punishment, kickback, landmark decision, load, lumber, mulct, nemesis, onus, pack, pains, pains and punishments, pay, payment, penal retribution, penalty clause, penance, penology, percentage, premium, price, price reduction, price-cut, punishment, punition, rebate, rebatement, reduction, refund, retribution, retributive justice, rollback, salvage, scourge, sentence, setoff, tare, time discount, trade discount, tret, trouble, underselling, verdict, weight, well-deserved punishment, what-for, white elephant, write-off
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