1 [uncountable and countable]
something that is done in order to punish someone, or the act of punishing them [↪ punitive]:
The Court decides what punishment to impose.
the punishment for treason
punishment by whipping
as (a) punishment
I was sent to bed as a punishment.
The gunmen will not escape punishment.
He got a six-year jail sentence, a harsh punishment for a first offense.
2 [uncountable] informal
rough physical treatment:
tough plants that can take any amount of punishment