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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.