The definition of penal is something relating to punishment for breaking the law.
An example of penal are laws or codes that people are punished for breaking; penal codes.
- of, for, or constituting punishment, esp. legal punishment
- specifying or prescribing punishment: a penal code
- making a person liable to punishment: a penal offense
Origin of penalMiddle English from Classical Latin poenalis from poena, punishment (from source pain) from Classical Greek poin?, penalty, fine from Indo-European an unverified form kwoina, punishment from base an unverified form kwei-, to heed, respect, avenge from source Sanskrit cáyat?, (he) avenges, Lithuanian káina, price
- Of, relating to, or prescribing punishment, as for breaking the law.
- Subject to punishment; legally punishable: a penal offense.
- Serving as or constituting a means or place of punishment: penal servitude; a penal colony.
Origin of penalMiddle English from Old French peinal and from Medieval Latin pēnālis both from Latin poenālis from poena penalty from Greek poinē ; see kwei-1 in Indo-European roots.