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punishing (adj.)

"hard-hitting," 1811, originally in pugilism, present-participle adjective from punish (v.). Related: Punishingly.

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Definitions of punishing from WordNet

punishing (adj.)
resulting in punishment;
the king imposed a punishing tax
punishing (adj.)
characterized by effort to the point of exhaustion; especially physical effort;
set a punishing pace
Synonyms: arduous / backbreaking / grueling / gruelling / hard / heavy / laborious / operose / toilsome
From wordnet.princeton.edu