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take a punishing

1. To be thoroughly beaten or thrashed; to suffer rough treatment or abuse. My younger brother was always a shy, skinny kid who often took a punishing from schoolyard bullies. My feet have taken a punishing from hiking in these old sneakers.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. Their team's inexperience showed on the pitch today, as they took a punishing from the powerful squad from New Zealand.
3. To suffer severe losses or setbacks. The stock market took a punishing over the weekend after fears of Greece's exit from the Eurozone. My efforts to get my PhD have taken a punishing over the last couple of years, but I'm still determined to see it through.
See also: punish, take

punish someone by something

to discipline someone by doing something. The headmaster punished the children by forcing them to go to bed early. She punished herself by not eating.
See also: punish

punish someone for something

to discipline someone for [doing] something. Someone will punish you for what you did. Please don't punish me for doing it. I'm sorry.
See also: punish

punish someone with something

to use something to discipline someone. The captain punished the sailor with the lash. Sally threatened to punish Timmy with a spanking.
See also: punish
References in classic literature ?
Then, you, too, will be punished, for you did not do your duty as a priest -- you should have prevented Benedetto from killing me.
If we're punished, it means that we have deserved it, it's not for us to judge.
Perhaps we'll be able to find the brooch if she'll only tell where she took it; but in any case she'll have to be severely punished, Matthew.
Yes, but then I HAD done the things I was punished for,' said Alice: 'that makes all the difference.
His father punished Seryozha by not letting him go to see Nadinka, Lidia Ivanovna's niece; but this punishment turned out happily for Seryozha.
How many of the girls and boys--ah, men and women too--that are brought before you and you don't pity, are deaf and dumb in their minds, and go wrong in that state, and are punished in that state, body and soul, while you gentlemen are quarrelling among yourselves whether they ought to learn this or that?
He said he became incensed because the stepfather was punishing him more than was justified and that he was being beaten rather than punished.
Pervaiz Rashid said he stood by his reaction regarding the judgment on NA-122 in which Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was punished for the irregularities committed by the officials of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Spitting out of a car will also be punished by a Dhs500 fine, authorities said.
The only way the players will stop doing it is if they feel they can get punished.
I remember last season, and I don't want to say the names of clubs or players, you had players and clubs punished by panels and you had clubs and players protected by panels.
Global Banking News-October 29, 2014--Former China central bank chief says Hong Kong protests could be punished
BULGARIAN side Ludogorets will have a partial closure of their ground for their first home Champions League group match against Real Madrid after being punished for racist behaviour by fans.
Unlawful road blockage no more than 24 hours will be punished with fine of 3,000 som for individuals, 50,000 som for legal entities.
WEST BROM'S Diego Lugano has laid into English football - by claiming that Nicolas Anelka is being punished just to make an example of him.