imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome as a response and deterrent to an action or behaviour that is deemed undesirable or unacceptable

Punishment is when something is done to a person (or animal) that they do not like. It may be because they broke a rule. There are many kinds of punishment, from a death penalty for very bad crimes, to things that parents may do to punish children, like spanking them or taking away their toys. People are often sent to prison as punishment for a crime.

Punishment can be seen as good in society to prevent people from doing bad things. It can also seen as cruel and unnecessary. It can also be seen to do more harm than good.[1]


  1. Deirdre Golash (2004). The Case against Punishment: Retribution, Crime Prevention, and the Law. New York: New York University Press.[page needed]