Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to punish: punch

punish (someone or oneself) by (doing something)

To do something as a way of penalizing or disciplining someone or oneself. The boss has been punishing those who disagree with him by loading them with more work than they can handle. For breaking his diet over the holidays, Bob punished himself by only eating vegetables for two weeks straight.
See also: by, punish

punish (someone or oneself) for (something)

To penalize or discipline someone or oneself for some crime, wrong, mistake, or other transgression. Bob punished himself for breaking his diet over the holidays by only eating vegetables for two weeks straight. I feel like this heavy workload is the boss's way of punishing me for disagreeing with him during the meeting.
See also: for, punish

punish with (something)

1. To penalize or discipline someone or oneself with a particular action or outcome. A noun or pronoun is used between "punish" and "with." I feel like the boss has been punishing me with a heavy workload just because I disagreed with him in the meeting. You would have been punished with death if you committed that crime in my home country.
2. To handle something in a very rough, damaging manner. A noun or pronoun is used between "punish" and "with." You need to stop punishing your body with so much alcohol each weekend. I'm surprised my car lasted as long as it has, considered how much I've punished it with my daily commute.
See also: punish

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: by, 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: for, 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
President Donald Trump has, meanwhile, given contradictory statements regarding the US intention to punish Ankara over purchasing Russian-made systems, failing to provide clear-cut answers to whether the US administration intends to punish Ankara over the acquisition or not.
Shittu said that the absence of laws to punish perpetrators of electoral violence could be the reason people still engaged in the act.
Nonetheless, the ministry insists it can punish offenders 'for the evil intention to create confusion over the outcome of the election'.
Islamabad -- Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan's acquittal in the SSP Asmatullah Junejo attack case saying those who should be punished are being acquitted.
He made an appeal to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe asking him to give him the strength without weakening him so that he could punish the fraudsters concerned.
We asked visitors to The Chronicle's Facebook page if they believed he should be punished for his actions - and the majority response was a resounding, "No!"
GAZA, May 31 (KUNA) -- Israel's ministerial committee for legislation unanimously voted into law on Sunday a bill to punish those who hurl stones at police or means of transport with five years in prison.
Commenting on the tougher penalties, Mohammed Kassim, a Sudanese driver based in Abu Dhabi, said: "It is a good thing to punish people for such bad behaviour.Some drivers are not bothered about littering or spitting on the road while driving."
Some members of the Board apparently wanted to punish some of the [Free Speech Movement] leaders for their actions in leading the student strike and for alleged illegal actions.
Joseph Yam said that China would punish Hong Kong if pro-democracy protests that have paralysed parts of the Chinese-controlled financial centre for a month are allowed to continue.
The erstwhile Efficiency & Discipline Rules 1975 were a big impediment in effective supervision within the force as they did not provide the field commanders i.e the DPOs and SDPOs with any effective powers to punish their under command.
Speaking on the occasion, the IGP KP Mr Nasir Khan Durrani said that administration is predicated upon the ability to punish & reward and it is impossible to actually command a disciplined force without having these requisites.
In a recent wave of cases, lower federal courts have reached contradictory conclusions about school officials' authority to punish students' speech in social media, raising difficult questions about the applicability of today's First Amendment doctrine to online speech.
Summary: Russia: Russia on Saturday urged South Sudan to punish those responsible for shooting down a ...
International consensus seems to be that it is better for the Jewish state to collectively punish its own citizenry by unleashing hundreds of murderous psychopaths in and around Israel than punishing Gaza.http://a7.org/pictures/295/295865.jpg' style="float:right;" />