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 p&emacron;nalis, both from Latin poenalis, from poena, penalty, from Greek poin&emacron;; see kwei-1 in Indo-European roots.