Part of speech: noun

Any painful consequence of the transgression of law; punishment.

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Usage examples "penalty":

  1. Let Justice punish them, and Mercy put her arms around them; let them be appealed to by penalty and by reason, and by every influence, human and Divine, that can possibly be brought to bear upon them. - "In-Darkest-England-and-the-Way-Out", Booth, William.
  2. But it is a truth which is so revealed; and we may not, upon a penalty more terrible than death, neglect any ultimate truth concerning our mortal way. - "On Something", H. Belloc.
  3. Every man shall keep a sufficient fence against his neighbour under the same penalty. - "A Short History of English Agriculture", W. H. R. Curtler.