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.
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