1. The imposition of a penalty or deprivation for wrongdoing: the swift punishment of all offenders.
2. A penalty imposed for wrongdoing: "The severity of the punishment must ... be in keeping with the kind of obligation which has been violated" (Simone Weil).
3. Rough treatment or use: These old skis have taken a lot of punishment over the years.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.