In civil law, the amount of money awarded to a plaintive and to be paid by the defendant. The amount is sought by the plaintiff but is set and awarded by the court as compensation for an egregious action on the behalf of the defendant and to discourage others from similar action in the future.

PUNITIVE DAMAGES: "The court awarded the small company 25 million dollars in punitive damages."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "PUNITIVE DAMAGES," in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 28, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/punitive-damages/ (accessed October 16, 2021).