- The definition of punitive is something that is involved with punishment.
An example of punitive is a measure taken to reprimand someone.
Origin of punitiveMedieval Latin punitivus ; from Classical Latin punitus, past participle of punire, to punish
Origin of punitiveMedieval Latin pūnītīvus, from Latin poenīre, pūnīre, to punish; see punish.
(comparative more punitive, superlative most punitive)
Medieval Latin punitivus, from pūniō (“I punish”).