Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[pen-l-tee] /ˈpɛn l ti/
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. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for penalties
  • 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.
  • Few are ever caught, and penalties are usually no more severe than a parking ticket.
  • They are doing their best and have gotten much more aggressive with the penalties for piracy.
  • Countries may also threaten to use economic sanctions, or penalties.
  • Informers are paid twenty-five per-cent up to fifty thousand dollars, of the dues and penalties.
  • These twelve counts carried a maxi- mum of eighty-four years in penalties, wIth one-third off for good behavior.
  • Having shot an albatross, he and his companions were subjected to fearful penalties.
British Dictionary definitions for penalties


noun (pl) -ties
a legal or official punishment, such as a term of imprisonment
some other form of punishment, such as a fine or forfeit for not fulfilling a contract
loss, suffering, or other unfortunate result of one's own action, error, etc
(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
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin poenālitās penalty; see penal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for penalties



mid-15c., from Middle French penalité and directly from Medieval Latin poenalitatem (nominative poenalitas), from Latin poenalis (see penal). The sporting sense is first recorded 1885. Ice hockey penalty box attested by 1931.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for penalty

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for penalties

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with penalties

Nearby words for penalties