Open main menu

Wiktionary β





punishing (comparative more punishing, superlative most punishing)

  1. That punishes physically and/or mentally; arduous, gruelling, demanding.
    • 2010, Kathleen C. Winters, Amelia Earhart: The Turbulent Life of an American Icon, St. Martin's Press (ISBN 9780230112292), page 90
      Upon Amelia's return from the West Coast in October, George presented her with a punishing schedule of lectures and appointments to promote the new book and solidify her position as America's foremost woman aviator.
    • 2013, Grace Young, Alan Richardson, The Breath of a Wok, Simon and Schuster (ISBN 9781476740249), page 100
      Regardless of the punishing heat and physicality, restaurant cooking is a calling many Chinese chefs cannot deny.
    • 2016, Tamara Gill, Only an Earl Will Do, Entangled: Select Historical (ISBN 9781633757301)
      They took off at a punishing speed, making London in less than half a day.
  2. (figuratively) Debilitating, harsh.
    • 1999, Edward Gonzalez, Richard Nuccio, Rand Corporation. National Security Research Division, The Rand Forum on Cuba, Rand Corp
      Others argued that the worst of all outcomes after 40 years of a punishing embargo would be for the United States to adopt policies that might extend the life of a dictatorial regime.
    • 2010, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Globalization at Risk, Yale University Press (ISBN 9780300157314)
      Public debt of this magnitude can provoke punishing tax rates and crowd out private investment.
    • 2016, David J. Sanger, Derek E. Blackman, Aspects of Psychopharmacology, Routledge (ISBN 9781315536033)
      The apparent punishing effect of naloxone may be mediated through the withdrawal reaction that it produces[.]
    a punishing blow

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


punishing (plural punishings)

  1. Punishment.
    • 2011, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology (page 303)
      We may not be convinced that God is as involved in historical punishings as the prophet claims, and we may have a strong negative reaction to the claims made for how God acts []



  1. present participle of punish