plural noun, Law.
damages awarded to a plaintiff in excess of compensatory damages in order to punish the defendant for a reckless or willful act.


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    [pyoo-ni-tiv] /ˈpyu nɪ tɪv/ adjective 1. serving for, concerned with, or inflicting punishment: punitive laws; punitive action. /ˈpjuːnɪtɪv/ adjective 1. relating to, involving, or with the intention of inflicting punishment: a punitive expedition adj. 1620s, “inflicting or involving punishment,” from French punitif (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of […]

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