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[puhn-i-shuh-buh l] /ˈpʌn ɪ ʃə bəl/
liable to or deserving punishment.
Origin of punishable
1375-1425; late Middle English. See punish, -able
Related forms
punishability, noun
nonpunishable, adjective
repunishable, adjective
unpunishable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for punishable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Technically his offence was punishable by death—the old Chinese code being most stringent in such matters.

    The Fight For The Republic in China Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale
  • I can say that my crime is not a punishable one, and yet I feel that I am deserving of censure.

    Two Wonderful Detectives Harlan Page Halsey
  • To speak ill of the Governor and Council or of the justices of the peace, was declared a high crime, punishable by whipping.

    Virginia under the Stuarts 1607-1688 Thomas J. Wertenbaker
  • Less was not collectable by law, but was not a punishable offence.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • This is of course prohibited by the law to the full extent of its jurisdiction and is punishable as prescribed in the law.

    Copyright: Its History and Its Law Richard Rogers Bowker
British Dictionary definitions for punishable


liable to be punished or deserving of punishment
Derived Forms
punishability, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for punishable

1530s, of persons; 1540s, of offenses, from punish + -able.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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