noun, plural penalties.
a punishment imposed or incurred for a violation of law or rule.
a loss, forfeiture, suffering, or the like, to which one subjects oneself by nonfulfillment of some obligation.
something that is forfeited, as a sum of money.
a disadvantage imposed upon one of the competitors or upon one side for infraction of the rules of a game, sport, etc.
consequence or disadvantage attached to any action, condition, etc.

1505–15;Medieval Latin poenālitās. See penal, -ty2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
penalty (ˈpɛnəltɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  a legal or official punishment, such as a term of imprisonment
2.  some other form of punishment, such as a fine or forfeit for not fulfilling a contract
3.  loss, suffering, or other unfortunate result of one's own action, error, etc
4.  sport, games a handicap awarded against a player or team for illegal play, such as a free shot at goal by the opposing team, loss of points, etc
[C16: from Medieval Latin poenālitās penalty; see penal]

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Example sentences
There are no service contracts, and no penalties for canceling.
Now, a new national law aims to protect the national treasure, though the first
  penalties have been relatively mild.
Penalties for animal cruelty need to be tripled in the case of dogfighting.
Heavy penalties can be imposed for importing, selling, or transporting it.
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